Clark University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capstone is a rigorous course that teaches students to develop a business venture using what they have learned at Clark University. The spring 2012 competition had four teams competing for the title of Competition Winner. The teams spent the spring semester conceiving and developing a business. To win the competition teams must have a bulletproof strategy for actualizing their venture. To do this they must have a pervasive understanding of the industry, how they will enter it, and most importantly how they will quickly grow, become profitable and deliver return on investment. This was the fourth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capstone Competition.
“The students worked very hard this semester. With all the teams viable, the competition came down to the expected effectiveness of each teams’ customer acquisition model and how well they understood and presented their financial models,” said Steven Rothschild, Clark Professor and CEO of Applied Interactive. “I was quite pleased with each and every one of the teams’ performances. They competition was fierce. They raised the bar and set a new standard for future competitions.”
Safe Siren is a patent-pending handheld personal safety alarm. Founded by Cooper Hart, Katy Cleminson, Axel Kanakan and Victor Figuereo, Safe Siren won based on a solid innovative idea, understanding of the personal safety industry, a strong customer acquisition model and potential for significant profit.
“We worked hard and smart. It paid off,” said Katy Cleminson ’13, co-founder of Safe Siren. “Now, using the judges’ feedback we will continue to improve, raise money and make Safe Siren the company we know it can be.”
Med App Solutions developed a smartphone mobile application, Can I Eat This?, which would use a nationally recognized database and bar code scanning technology to help users determine whether a food is contraindicated for a person based on their allergies and dietary restrictions. Med App Solutions was co-founded by Sarah Fisher, Tom Robbins, Aaron Conley and Brandon Biaterana; the team was praised for their passion and sound financial presentation.
Two additional teams competed with Safe Siren and Med App Solutions this semester: Goru Events and LiveEasy Diabetes. Both teams developed smartphone mobile applications. Goru Events was co-founded by Lamar Duffy, Zach Eaton and Sam Roleru to create an event ecosystem for users based on the geographic location. LiveEasy Diabetes was co-founded by Mitchell Renshaw, Andrew De Vito, Kate Minister and Chris Johnson to help diabetics monitor, manage, research and communicate all of their important medical information related to their disease.
The judges for the spring entrepreneurship capstone course included Dana Levenson, CFO of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation; Ann Kirkpatrick Tripp, Chief Investment Officer at The Hanover Insurance Group; Andrew Moss, an entrepreneur, investor and strategist at Wingate Advisors, LLC; and Rick Segal ’12, who led his team, Bella Burger, to a capstone course competition win in Fall 2011.