Ideas win big at Olin’s first BIG IdeaBounce

  • May 5, 2020
  • By Molly Cruitt
  • 4 minute read

The first-of-its-kind event honored the best of 100 video elevator pitches submitted by 243 students across programs.

Olin’s first BIG IdeaBounce pitch competition held a virtual celebration on Wednesday, April 22, to announce 64 prizes.

The competition split a $20,000 prize pool sponsored by the National Security Innovation Network between graduate and undergraduate first and second place winners, plus 50 runners up.

The 100 teams, including 243 students across programs, each submitted a two-minute elevator pitch-style video describing their innovative product idea. Pitches were then reviewed by a panel of 87 judges, including alumni and St. Louis entrepreneurs and funders like Carl Casale, Maxine Clark and Valerie Toothman.

Submissions came from Olin and non-Olin students in every grade and program, including students in the first-year Management 150 course who pitched a product as part of their final projects.

Dean Mark Taylor
Dean Mark Taylor speaks before the BIG IdeaBound awardees are announced.

“Entrepreneurship is one of our core pillars at Olin—and we’re proud of the entrepreneurial ecosystem St. Louis has achieved,” Dean Mark P. Taylor said during program to reveal the winners. “Being part of that is so important to the school—and this contest has in its first year proven to be a great way to bring us together and celebrate the creation of new business ideas.”

The winners

Doug Villhard, director of entrepreneurship for WashU Olin, announced the award of four top prizes, including first- and second-place awards for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Graduate first place: Pareto

The pitch: An innovative solution to the multi-billion dollar problem of infusion drug wasting every year.

Graduate second place: Lifted Pouches

The pitch: A pre-workout supplement in pouch form. Pitched by Derek Leiter, Tyler Edwards and Irina Grekova

Undergraduate first place: 3Dux Design

The pitch: An architectural modeling system consisting of cardboard connectors and curriculum that supports STEM education globally.

Undergraduate second place: Alms Banking

The pitch: A credit union that generates revenue and donates it to charities. Pitched by Chase Kallhoff

Runners up

Villhard announced 50 runners up, a mix of undergraduate and graduate student projects who each received a small grant.

Runners up listed in order from first to 50th.

Sanitek | A health club yoga mat sanitation solution.

Z Education | Education consulting focusing on helping Chinese students find universities in the United States.

Empower Through Health | Empowering marginalized societies to achieve self-sufficiency.

Sirona | A digital health platform where medical data can be accessed at any time, anywhere.

Localize | Simply connecting users to volunteer opportunities.

SpanAbility | Virtual reality games for stroke rehabilitation.

Halo | A durable, yet fashionable bracelet that tests for drink-spiking drugs.

True You | Concierge name-change service for individuals to claim or reclaim their identity after a major life event.

Me’ver Crisis Volunteers | Fast-reacting flexible crisis aid.

SexyQ | A sex tech platform focused on communications and self-exploration.

democracy | A fashion design incubator for designers and creators who need a catalyzing push to start their career.

Presence | Bonding activity subscription boxes backed by teachers, psychologists and child psychiatrists.

Create Space | An easily accessible studio space for artists and creatives.

Welldrinks | A bar ordering and experience app.

Man Up | An easy-to-use makeup kit designed for men.

NAAPCO | National Association of American Peer Counseling Organizations.

Caralyst | Optimally matching patients and physicians based on identity, personal characteristics and communication styles.

St. Louis Online Farmstore | An online farm store with local delivery.

Talking Teddy | A teddy bear that uses smart technology to speak to children and teach them new languages.

Smart Hanger | Multi-directional adjustable clothing hanger.

Umma | An umbrella sharing system on college campuses.

Happy Chinese Gray | A tech-based social entrepreneur to support Chinese-American family caregivers of older adults.

Peak | Online dating platform for non-neurotypical people.

MEZ Eatery | Traditional Mexican restaurant dedicated to producing a variety of wholesome plant-based meals.

CRESTE | Increasing accessibility to commercial real estate investing.

Dgit | Disruptive Green Innovative Technology; provides the primary communication channel between property managers and tenants.

The Villow | A vibrating alarm clock pillow.

Lure Consultant | An app that recommends lures for fishing conditions.

Recipher | A pen that records what you write and reads it back to you.

Golden Roots | A curation of natural skincare products made with essential African ingredients.

Kenzora Consulting | In-store retail consulting.

Airborn | Emergency response drone medical delivery system.

Elefante | An intentional co-working and community space for all identities.

Indian Clothing Rentals | Online Indian clothing rental company.

Tap-In | Magnetic strip that can attach to students’ phones and serve as a key.

THEMPS Cannabis Temp Staffing | Temp staffing for the cannabis industry with a focus on social equity.

Toao Design House | Casual, personal and sustainable fashion dedicated to giving clients stylistic agency to form their identity.

Flow (Drink) | A juice-based, healthy energy drink.

Lil Kings & Queens | Children and teens clothing line for African American kids.

Honeymoon Chocolates | Bean-to-bar chocolate sweetened with raw honey.

RELocator | Website that helps with home buying by providing digital tours of urban neighborhoods for people who are relocating to new cities.

Flow (Supply Chain) | The new way to make fashion closed-loop.

ModBars | Customizable snack bars.

TalentShare | A platform where students can exchange their talents and teach each other.

Student Financial Literacy Platform | All-in-one platform for students to learn about and make good financial decisions.

BREEKZI | Beats and music services marketplace.

PeerPoint Helpline | A helpline that provides support and resources to students who are experiencing domestic abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RackAttach | A universal bike rack that fastens to the bike and lets you attach to any car and ride.

Epitrac | The low-cost, high-tech Epi-Pen alternative.

Kantame | Vehicle exportation.

Honorable mentions

Ten projects that didn’t receive a prize, but merited attention.

Listed from first to 10th place within this category.

Shorte | A short-film curated streaming service.

UpDog | A dog boarding facility with airport transportation services.

EHS+ | Remote, real-time control of environmental, health and safety standards in manufacturing facilities via low-cost sensors.

The Sand Fan | A machine to remove sand from your feet using highly pressurized air.

Indigenous Fashion Products | A digital platform selling indigenous products transparently, educating people and giving back to the community.

TrainMates | A platform to connect fitness trainers and trainees.

Food Truck Gameday | A service that inceases the visibility of black and migrant business owners at Major League Soccer games.

Oystar | Giving African students access to educational opportunities in the United States.

WashU Innovators | Leak-proof contact case.

The Helpful Horn | A  multi-sound car horn for different driving situations.

About the Author

Molly Cruitt

Molly Cruitt

Molly Cruitt was WashU Olin's digital content specialist for nearly three years until late 2020. She is passionate about telling great stories and showing the lesser-known side of things. Molly holds a master of arts in communication from Saint Louis University and loves dogs, food, and crafting.

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