URBANA, Ill. (April 2, 2010)- While most college students may spend their spring vacations basking in the sun, a select group of innovative students were chosen to compete in the Missouri/Illinois Regional Idea to Product® Competition (I2P®). The competition, which took place on March 26-27, was held at Saint Louis University’s John Cook School of Business.
Sixteen teams from the Missouri/Illinois area were invited to participate in the competition with three teams coming from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. All three U of I teams, each left with a prize, one team winning it all.
Winners of the I2P Regional Competition.
Winning first place in the competition and $2,500 was Citus Medical, Inc. Andrew Naber, Daniel Knipmeyer, Katherine Berit Waskevich, and Jack Holzman pitched the start-up at the competition. The idea behind this start-up is to provide diagnostic solutions for rural and developing countries through low-cost, single-use blood panels and affordable automated analysis devices. Their Accusense Diagnostics Solution allows for customizable test types and amounts depending on the prevalent diseases in the particular target market. This team not only took first in this division of competition but will also be submitted to the International I2P® round in Austin, Texas this fall.
“I really enjoyed the regional experience,” said Daniel Knipmeyer. “The whole process of starting a business is new and exciting for my team, and to be a part of a competition where every entrant has an amazing idea is really incredible.”
Taking second on the day and a prize of $1,500 was U of I start-up, UTicketIt. Twin brothers, Ashton and Ryan Clark, created this online tool as a way to connect event organizers with ticket buyers for risk-free ticket sales and event management. Event organizers can create an event and begin selling tickets using the built-in escrow system that protects ticket buyers in case of cancellation. UTicketIt will also act as an alternate for the International I2P competition.
“As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘success comes before work only in the dictionary,’ said Ashton Clark. “This competition motivates me to continue to bring my ideas to fruition. Just because Ryan and I did not win the competition does not mean that we are not winners. All of the teams were winners. I am proud to be a part of such a high caliber group of students.”
The third team from U of I, Appiquity, received a $500 prize for winning their track. Created by Ryan Benton, Appiquity offers Appiquity SDK- a set of integrated tools that can develop, maintain and manage mobile applications that can be used on a range of mobile platforms. Appiquity's technology is the first to allow apps to be available automatically across different operating systems.
Other winners on the day include: third place prize of $1,000 to Smart Specs created by Purvag Patel, Earl Fairall, Noah Spitler, and Jason Stogner from the Illinois Institute of Technology and fourth place prize of $750 awarded to the team of Blanca Ollero, Angel Hernandez, and Carlos Kaiser of Saint Louis University for H-TUM (Billikenbot).
In his advice for future participants, Ryan Benton said, “You really have to bring the whole package [to the competition]. Don't try to go it alone. It's a lot to handle by yourself, and choosing team members that complement you can help you go farther. Also, I'm proud that the U of I teams that did advance performed so well. Hopefully we can continue that success.”
To continue the celebration of their successes, the three U of I teams will also be displaying their start-ups at the TEC TEN Symposium in honor of the Technology Entrepreneur Center’s tenth anniversary on April 24, 2010. More information about TEC TEN is available at www.tec.illinois.edu/tecten.
When asked about the TEC’s help throughout the process Daniel Knipmeyer said, “It's amazing that U of I took home both the gold and the silver. We couldn't have done this without the programs, support and mentorship offered by the TEC. It's great working with people that are as excited about your success as you are, and our win wouldn't have been possible without all the advice and support that we have received.”
For more information about the competition, please visit www.ideatoproduct.org.