Twelve startups to compete for at least $ 1 million in the Chicago Booth New Venture Challenge 25th Anniversary Finals
CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE) – The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the 12 teams selected to participate in the final of the 25e annual Edward L. Kaplan, 71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), one of the country’s oldest and richest student startup accelerators.
Founded in 1996 at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, NVC has graduated nearly 370 companies that remain active today, including well-known names such as Grubhub, Braintree, and Simple Mills. They have raised over $ 1.2 billion and made $ 8.5 billion in mergers and exits.
June 3 the 2021 finalist teams will present their business plans to a panel of judges and investors for an investment chance. This year’s investment pool is at least $ 1 million, on track to be the largest in contest history.
The prize pool was significantly increased thanks to the Rattan L. Khosa, ’79, First Place Prize, introduced four years ago, and has grown steadily since.
âNVC has experienced strong growth over the past decade, both in terms of team competitiveness and investor interest,â said Steven Kaplan, NVC Co-Founder, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance Neubauer Family Distinguished Service at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. and Kessenich EP, Faculty Director of the Polsky Center. “Just five years ago the investment pool was $ 285,000, so going over $ 1 million now is a real testament to the success of the program.”
The finalists were selected from a cohort of 29 teams that participated in the NVC, which is an MBA class credited to Chicago Booth as well as a business plan competition.
NVC has always been rated as one of the best seed accelerators, alongside Techstars and Y Combinator, which is unique for a student-focused program.
âWe are very impressed with the depth and breadth of activities of our 12 finalists,â said Mark Tebbe, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth. âIn these difficult circumstances, the teams have made substantial progress in building these businesses. We look forward to an exciting 25th anniversary finale. ”
The finals will take place virtually from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on June 3. Registration is free and open to the public.
The finalists are:
- Aina, a simple mobile app and an easy-to-integrate web API that turns any room into a fitting room. Leveraging cutting-edge Augmented Reality (AR) technology, Aina allows shoppers to try on clothes anytime and anywhere, allowing them to see how a particular item fits their body in real time, with precision down to the waist.
- Andes STR, a modern property management company that offers young professionals a turnkey solution to manage their properties in the short-term rental market, offering clients more flexibility and higher returns than long-term tenants.
- Annuity risk, a SaaS company focused on the indexed annuity market. Its product is designed to help businesses manage their liability management operations, with a focus on maximizing coverage and insight into customer data.
- deetz, a mobile app for people to find out what’s going on in their community right now and for businesses to promote promotions and events.
- ML Tech, a high frequency trading platform (HFT) that connects experienced researchers with institutional capital. The platform harnesses cutting-edge AI solutions and enables researchers to produce new strategies at a peak rate.
- PainNavigator, an evidence-based pain management app that uses a proprietary adaptive learning algorithm to integrate and personalize holistic first-line therapies to help users improve pain and function. It is aimed at people with non-surgical pain and healthcare providers who want to implement CDC-recommended treatments for their patients.
- Phlaxis, which aims to prevent and treat food allergies by developing a cutting edge technology called reverse vaccination.
- Ping, a smartwatch for seniors that captures their health data and alerts their families in real time to abnormal measurements.
- Resette, which custom combines makeup and skincare in one product, dubbed âskinwear,â to simplify routines and deliver personalized beauty with benefits.
- SHEVOLVE, which is redefining the way Gen X and Baby Boomer women engage with nutritional supplements to help them thrive through menopause and beyond.
- HistoryEasel, a SaaS-based storytelling solution designed exclusively to preserve users’ heritage and culture. The centralized platform enables users to create, share and preserve treasured family stories and memories and invite family and friends to help them expand and enrich their story.
- Checked, which offers pet parents peace of mind by providing them with reliable, affordable and convenient preventive care through its subscription service and mobile app with preventive care services, 24-hour home technical monitoring 24/7 and accessible and centralized medical records for pets.
From its beginnings as a pioneer of student startup accelerators, the NVC has grown to include five distinct tracks. The Edward L. Kaplan, 71, New Venture Challenge is open to all graduate students of the University of Chicago. The College New Venture Challenge (CNVC) is for undergraduates at the University of Chicago. The Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC) is intended for executive MBA students from the Chicago Booth campuses in Hong Kong and London, as well as Chicago. The John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture Challenge (SNVC) is aimed at nonprofits or startups with a social mission. And the Alumni New Venture Challenge (ANVC) is open to all University of Chicago alumni.
To mark the 25e anniversary of the accelerator, the Polsky Center launched a podcast series with interviews with notable alumni of the CNV.
About the University of Chicago Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation uses the world-class business expertise of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business to bring new ideas and breakthrough innovations to market. With a professional staff of 60, the Polsky Center leads the creation of new businesses and business partnerships at the University of Chicago and beyond. As a global leader in entrepreneurship education, the Polsky Center is home to the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge, one of the nation’s top acceleration programs. The Polsky Center provides training for aspiring entrepreneurs and those seeking careers in private equity, venture capital and acquisition entrepreneurship. Learn more about polsky.uchicago.edu and follow updates on Twitter @polskycenter.
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