Advancing Ideas

Judges for the 10th annual University of Dayton Business Plan Competition heard 50 ideas for startups during the elevator pitch round and awarded first place to an innovative strap designed for heavy weight lifting.

Slap Wrap Lifting Straps and nine other business pitches will advance to the cameo round, where teams will have just five minutes to present their ideas for a great, new product or service. The round begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, in Miriam Hall room 209. The public is welcome.

“The quality of the pitches and ideas continue to improve every year,” said Vincent Lewis, director of the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “The top 10 ideas moving on to the cameo round are all ‘investment worthy’ ideas that have a strong probability of becoming sustainable businesses.”

Slap Wrap, presented by Keith Lamping, a doctoral student in the University’s physical therapy program, won the $1,500 first-place prize. Lamping said during his 60-second presentation that the patent-pending straps will tap into the multi-billion dollar fitness market.

“He was able to explain the current market opportunity to the judges, talk about the benefits of his solution, frame the potential market opportunity and build the necessary trust that he could execute on his idea,” Lewis said.

Other ideas that advanced to the cameo round included a device to help cystic fibrosis patients and an energy use monitor for apartment renters.

Senior entrepreneurship major Jessica Kerr won the the Women-in-Entrepreneurship Award sponsored by Ernst and Young and $2,500 for Aer, which will help cystic fibrosis patients determine if they need a trip to the hospital for further testing. Kaitlyn Roberts, a sophomore in the School of Business Administration, won the Top Sustainability/Green Technology Idea Award and $2,500 for PowerSage, the device to help apartment renters monitor their energy use.

Going forward in the competition, teams will receive guidance to help flesh out their ideas and get their startups off the ground.

Out of the cameo round, five teams will advance to the final round on March 5. The first place winner will take home $25,000, second place $15,000; third place $10,000; and fourth, fifth and sixth place $5,000.

The University of Dayton Business Plan Competition — one of the largest collegiate competition in the country with $90,000 in cash prizes and more than $100,000 of in-kind awards — added an Entrepreneurship-in-China track this year. An elevator pitch round is set for Jan. 10 at the University of Dayton China Institute in Suzhou Industrial Park. Two members of the first-place team will win free travel to Dayton to compete in the final round in March.

The 2014 second-place winner, Smart Barn, was recently named a finalist in the Verizon’s worldwide Powerful Answers Award program. Smart Barn — a system of wireless sensors that continuously monitors livestock feed usage and barn temperature, power and ventilation, and sends alerts to a smartphone — could receive $1 million when winners are announced in December.


News and Communications Staff