Monday April 20, 2015

Can you hear me now?

You Tune Hearing Protection, a recently patented adjustable device to help prevent hearing loss, is the winner of the 2014-2015 University of Dayton Business Plan Competition.

While the most common option for hearing protection is ear plugs, You Tune allows a user to manually adjust the amount of noise protection depending on the environment. The innovation was recently issued a patent and the team hopes to capitalize on a rapidly growing global market for hearing protection. Prospective markets include NASCAR fans, high school and marching band members, construction workers and active duty military members.

You Tune's team included Jeremy Smith, an Oakwood audiologist and entrepreneur who created and patented the device; Philip Anloague, chair and associate professor of the University of Dayton's department of physical therapy; Ryan Meritt; and Jessica Smith, alumna.

The company won a $25,000 cash prize, free sales training through the University of Dayton’s Fiore Talarico Center for Professional Selling and 15 hours of free legal support from the School of Law’s Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property Clinic.

"You Tune Hearing Protection epitomizes the very essence of the University of Dayton’s entrepreneurship program,” said Vince Lewis, competition coordinator and lecturer in management and entrepreneurship. “They have used the resources provided through the competition to take critical steps toward launching and growing their venture.”

Business plans were judged on whether they were feasible, profitable and an innovative product worthy of going to market.

Other winners were:

Second place ($15,000): Smart Barn, a system of wireless sensors that continuously monitors livestock feed usage and barn temperature, power and ventilation, and sends alerts to a smart phone. Team: Andrew Klein, alumnus.

Third place ($10,000): Fever Smart, a non-invasive patient temperature monitoring system that utilizes cloud storage and a smart phone app. Team: Aaron Goldstein, William Duckworth and University of Dayton student Khristian Santiago, student.

Fourth place ($5,000): Hammocks That Help, a social enterprise started by a University of Dayton entrepreneurship student that sends a portion of the profits to Nicaragua for construction of homes for those in need. The company has funded the construction of three homes. Team: Shane Jabir and Colin Johnson, entrepreneurship students.

Fifth place ($5,000): Full Circle Aerodynamics, a collaboration of engineering students, entrepreneurship students and a local entrepreneur who developed an aerodynamic trailer skirt for semi-trucks that increases fuel efficiency and improves safety. Team: Jacob Houk, Annie Kyne and Adam Marasco, entrepreneurship students; alumnus Kevin Joseph; and Ken Saunders, local entrepreneur.

Now in its ninth year, the competition offers nearly $190,000 in total support along with expert advice on transforming a great idea into a viable, marketable, innovative business plan.

The University of Dayton is recognized nationally for its programs for student entrepreneurs. For the ninth-straight year, The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine have ranked the undergraduate program in the top 25 programs in the nation.

For more information contact Vince Lewis at vlewis1@udayton.edu.

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