SEBA 2018 Business Idea Competition Draws Crowd

Winner of the Business Idea Competition MementoDealsThe 7th annual SEBA Business Idea Competition drew a crowd of almost 100 visitors, including SEBA students, faculty and staff, to the Soda Center on May 3, 2018. Five individual groups composed of undergraduate and graduate students and alumni from the School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA) gave presentations under the benevolent scrutiny of a panel of four seasoned investor judges, who gave live tips on how to dial in their work to raise capital.

The winner of the award was Julia Datsyuk, SMC alumni, of MomentoDeals, a platform where, "Hotel staff can dynamically change their prices, to sell unsold inventory to last-minute bookers," said Datsyuk, who will use a mobile app to connect customers with deals by the hour.

The darling of the night for People's Choice and winner of second place was PotBelly, an automated personalized cannabis subscription box service presented by SEBA alumni Paul Giguere. "Deregulation makes it difficult for existing players to change their market," said Giguere. "We are the first cannabis box series that offers a personalized customized box."

Randy Williams, a founder of the Keiretsu Forum, hosted the event, joined by judges Melissa Marsh Ross, a technology executive and angel investor, Shirley Gee, a Department Head and Executive Senior Staff member with Stanford University's research laboratory, and Adam Henderson, a Founder and COO of a recently launched technology company.

The other presentations included Mark Guadagni, a SEBA student, with Spectrum Synergy Solar Solutions, a solar approach that solves your electricity, thermal and efficiency needs. "Did you know that the efficiency of a solar panel is only 17 percent?" he asked.

Lee Sims III, a SEBA student, presented Leased, a web-based real estate service that connects landlords and tenants. "Real Estate brokers have the large pool but charge a hefty fee," said Sims III.

SEBA student Michael Reynolds—inspired by a trip he had while attending the College where he was able to unplug and have an adventure in Hawaii—presented LocalFun, a community where active, adventurous individuals can share their adventures and try new ones through a mobile app.

The event was hosted by the Center for Regional Economy, in partnership with Stull Grant for Entrepreneurship and the Keiretsu Forum. City National Bank sponsored all the cash prizes to the winning teams. The objective of the annual SEBA Business Idea Competition is to help participants refine their ideas to get to the stage where they can actually present to investors.


Judges at SEBAs 2018 Business Idea Competition