After hosting one of the region’s premiere college business plan competitions for 14 years, the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) completely redesigned the contest last year to better reward the practical aspects of what make startups successful – the ability to rapidly adapt to customers’ needs.
Organized by the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship (LRI) at Tulane, the 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition hosted its six semi-finalists at a pitch competition on Wednesday during the 7th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW).
Judges included: Robert Autenreith, CEO, Pride Marketing and Procurement, Inc.; Millie Bradley, retired controller, Exxon Mobile Corporation; E. Pierce Marshall, President and CEO, Elevage Capital Management; Chris Papamichael, principal and co-founder, Domain Companies; and David Rieveschl, shareholder and corporate securities attorney, Baker Donelson.
The following teams will compete in the final round on April 16th for a chance to win cash prizes totaling $35,000.
- D&P Bioinnovations (Tulane University) – developing a bioresorbable, implantable medical device to regenerate a damaged esophagus
- Disease Diagnostic Group (MIT) – specializing in the development of rapid, accurate and inexpensive disease diagnostic test. Their flagship product is RAM (Rapid Assessment of Malaria)
- REEcycle (University of Houston) – Selling reclaimed rare earth elements from magnets used inside electronics such as cell phones, audio speakers, and hard drives
Lina Alfieri Stern, director of LRI, shared that D&P Diagnostics is made up of a team of BioMedical Engineering Ph.D. students currently enrolled in the IGERT program, designed to prepare them for careers in the industry rather than academic.
Tulane Entrepreneurs Association (TEA) was also involved, and they have been providing sponsorship and volunteers, according to Stern.
“We look forward to working with the new TEA cohort on next year’s competition,” says Stern.