2018 1st Iowa2012 2nd Grand Valley2018 3rd Chicago

TCU Entrepreneurship Competition for Social Businesses Awards $78,250 to Winners out of 55 Teams

Better access for autism treatment. Cold endurance masks for asthmatic children. Cleaner hospital sinks to prevent deadly infections. The TCU Neeley Entrepreneurship Center funds these ideas and more for the 2018 Values and Ventures® Competition.  

April 09,  2018

By Elaine Cole

Inspiring doesn’t even begin to cover it. When college students from 55 universities came to TCU for the 2018 Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition, they brought their hearts as well as their smarts. 

Hundreds of college students pitched unique business ideas in front of judges in a two-day competition that champions socially conscious businesses. More than 50 entrepreneurs, investors and bankers served as judges. 

Grand Prize of $25,000 was awarded to the University of Iowa for ABAL Therapeutics, which automates aspects of Applied Behavior Analytics, the standard for autism treatment, to provide equal access for the 65 percent of children with autism unable to access the therapy. 

Computer science major Logan Grote pitched the idea for software that therapists can use to decrease clinic time, increase access and decrease the cost for the 750,000 children in the United States with autism. 

“We don’t want to replace the therapist,” Grote told the judges. “We want to build a better scalpel.” 

Second Place of $15,000, plus the $5,000 Founders Award, went to Grand Valley State University for Orindi cold endurance masks, created from a napkin sketch in their parents’ basement. For every two masks sold for industrial use, one will be donated to the American Asthma Foundation.

“The human-centered design will help prevent the pain and panic of an asthma attack when children play outdoors in cold weather,” said Jordan Vanderham, who based the product on his own childhood experience with asthma. 

Third Place and $10,000 went to the University of Chicago for Sink Guard, a Tesla design to combat bacteria in hospital sinks to prevent the 100,000 deaths annually that result from health care acquired diseases.

“Can we save lives with a $50 device? Yes,” said Ted Engels, who pitched the plan.  

Honorable Mention and $2,500 each went to six finalists out of the original 55 teams competing:

  • Trinity University for Dbuntu for modernizing data for Ugandan farmers
  • U.S. Air Force Academy for Allowance app and software connecting college students to local homeowners for jobs
  • Georgia State University for SoundCollide, which integrates producing, recording and editing for aspiring music artists in different locations and protects digital rights
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock for Spiritum Solutions, a medical breathing device that saves lives and money by preventing patients from pulling out their breathing tubes
  • Brigham Young University for Piero Portal, which provides hands-free, low-cost, automatic handicap access to buildings
  • Johns Hopkins for Ithemba, a low-cost biopsy device for early breast cancer detection in developing countries and impoverished areas. Johns Hopkins also won the Ripple Effect Award for an additional $2,500.

Marjorie and James Sly Innovation Award of $2,500 went to St. Mary’s University for Guardian Angel infant care seat cushion that detects weight, movement and body temperature and sends alerts to an app, to prevent an infant from being accidently left behind or overheating in an automobile. 

Elevator Pitch The other 46 teams competed in an Elevator Pitch Competition with the following results:

  • Elevator Pitch 1st Place $1,250 – University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for SenseAble headphones for children with autism
  • Elevator Pitch 2nd Place $750 – University of California-Irvine for Humble Technologies which produces a 99.9 percent bubble-free syringe
  • Elevator Pitch 3rd Place $500 – Rutgers University for Sulis water stylization device for disaster areas
  • Elevator Pitch Honorable Mention $250 each
    • University of Houston for Zapp Technology which uses drones to kill mosquitoes in large areas
    • Baylor University for Flourish, a round-up mobile donation platform
    • University of Pikeville for K(2) Medical, which produces a special stretcher for large patients

This is the eighth year for TCU’s Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition, presented by the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center in the TCU Neeley School of Business and co-founded by Dallas real estate and technology entrepreneurs Nancy Tartaglino Richards and Lisa Barrentine of First Preston HT. 

2018 participating schools 

Auburn University
Ball State University
Bangladesh University of Professionals
Baylor University
Brigham Young University
California Lutheran University
Drexel University
East Carolina University
Florida State University
George Washington University
Georgia State University
Grand Valley State University
Iowa State University
John Brown University
John Carroll University
Johns Hopkins University
Kansas State University
Lake Forest College
Michigan State University
Millikin University
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Prairie View A&M University
Rice University
Rutgers University
Saint Leo University
San Diego State University
Southwestern Oklahoma State University
St. Edward’s University

St. Mary’s University
Syracuse University
Tarleton State University
Texas A&M University-Texarkana
Texas Christian University 
Trinity University
United States Air Force Academy 
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
University of California-Irvine
University of California-Los Angeles
University of Chicago
University of Florida
University of Houston 
University of Illinois
University of Iowa 
University of Mount Union
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pikeville
University of Strathclyde
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Walsh University
Wartburg College
Xavier University of Louisiana

For more information: www.neeley.tcu.edu/vandv.