Buerk Center entrepreneurship competitions roll online
Year two of a global pandemic couldn’t dampen the enterprising spirit—or diminish the quality of ventures and presentations—across a veritable spring fling of online startup competitions hosted, as ever, by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.
A record $90,000 was awarded to student teams in the Dempsey Startup Competition, which crowned Afterlife Listings its champion. The collaboration of UW biochemistry, communications and informatics undergrads won the $25,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation grand prize for its online marketplace for funeral planning, burial plot transactions and financing.
The $15,000 BECU second place prize was awarded to Puget Buoy, a team of mechanical engineering and business students from Olympic College and the UW Foster School who are developing secure fishing gear designed to prevent whale entanglements. The $10,000 WRF Capital third place prize went to Ananta, a team of chemical engineering students from WSU developing a bioreactor that can rapidly expand T cells for use in cancer immunotherapy. And the $7,500 Friends of the Dempsey Startup fourth place prize went to HealthXpress, a network of mobile health clinics in remote regions of the world developed by students in the Foster School’s MS in Entrepreneurship Program.
At the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge, the $15,000 Alaska Airlines grand prize went to Dempsey Startup runner-up Puget Buoy.
GreenLoop, a team of UW business, biology and computer science students developing a sustainable and biodegradable plastic, won the $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation second place prize. Scrapless, a platform connecting eco-minded consumers with local food producers to distribute surplus food that was developed by applied science, arts and commerce students at the University of British Columbia, took the $5,000 Starbucks third place prize.
The Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge awarded its $15,000 WRF Capital grand prize to Sound Sustainability, led by a hearing-impaired military veteran in Foster’s MS Entrepreneurship Program who has developed a high-quality yet affordable hearing aid.
The $10,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation second place prize was awarded to Nascent Diagnostics, a team of UW materials science and engineering students developing a biosensor array capable of improving the diagnosis and monitoring of various diseases. The $5,000 Fenwick & West third place prize went to Under Pressure, a team of UW chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering students developing a non-invasive blood pressure monitor for the operating room.