LaunchU: First Round Results

Nineteen of the 22 ventures that went through the 2019 LaunchU Bootcamp made their pitches on February 23 at the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space. Those selected for the final round competed on March 8, 2019.

The following ventures are recognized with Honorable Mentions and funding support.

First Round Honorable Mentions
Venture Participants Awards
Animo Maxx McGee ’20
Brennen Ryan ’20
Aster Jackson Guan
Tian Yoon Teh ’19
Zheyu Jiang ’19
Backyard Bread Sam Coates-Finke ’17 $1,000
Drumpling Ruiqi Liu ’21
Ceiveon Munoz ’20
Hotspot Christopher Chen  ’22
Jinhan Wu ’22
Internship Synergy Jillian Doane ’21
Daniel Mukasa ’19
Olympus Charles Williams $1,000

The following ventures will compete for startup funding at the final pitch competition on March 8 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space.

Semi-finalists Advancing to the Final Pitch Competition
Venture Participants Description
Community Hub John Petersen, faculty
Rowan Hannan, other
Tim Robert-Fitzgerald ’19

Fostering new connections that help people see themselves as part of larger whole.

Full Circle Solutions Jonathan Kaufman ’11 Creating value for the organics waste streams.
Newsreel Jack Brewster ’18 Improving news literacy and fostering healthy discourse about current events.
RIDE Kelvin Baker ’19 Delivering a carbon neutral, community ride-sharing solution.
StoryIt LLC Christopher Herman ’17 A digital interactive sports media platform changing how athletes capture, remember and share their memories.
1st Step 2 Life Nancy Darling, faculty
Max Kramer ’20
Charlie Maddox ’22
Emma K. Marcus ’19
Helping teens in pain take back their lives.
PWR Technologies Ryan Gleeson ’19
Andrew Sugarman ’19
Fully automate standard urinalysis testing.
The Read Read Alex Tavares ’11 Offering a technology to assist children classified as “non-readers” how to read.

About the Competition

In the fall of 2018, anyone from the Oberlin family was able to present an idea for acceptance into the LaunchU Bootcamp. Student, alumni, and faculty teams have been working side-by-side over winter term in an intense, high-paced program where they developed a value proposition, business model, and financial plan, and gained instruction in marketing, business law, intellectual property law, startup funders, nonprofit funding, team development, and much more. In addition, fifteen mentors – Oberlin alumni, parents, and Northeast Ohio startup professionals – worked with our founders throughout the process.