2018 Oregon New Venture Championship

New Venture Champion Announces 2018 Winners

Presented by the University of Oregon's Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, the Oregon New Venture Championship (NVC) is one of the original and most highly-regarded six-round graduate student business competitions. NVC strives to develop skilled and knowledgeable entrepreneurial leaders. Its core mission is to educate, inspire, and empower future entrepreneurs. After three days of competition, the 27th New Venture Championship is pleased to announce its winners.

Grand Prizes:

The 2018 New Venture Champion and winner of the Reinmuth Cup is Lapovations, LLC from the University of Arkansas. They will receive $20,000 to launch their venture. Lapovations is a medical device company focused on creating a platform for innovative products to improve laparoscopy. Their first product, AbGrab®, is an FDA Class I, patent-pending, single-use medical device that uses suction to attach to and lift the abdominal wall more reliably and less invasively than current lifting methods.

Fresh2Joy Co., Ltd. from Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration placed second and will receive $10,000 for their endeavor. Fresh2Joy was established with the vision of developing a 100% natural, innovative fruit treatment that reduces major waste issues from spoilage for all stakeholders in the supply chain.

In addition to the grand prizes, Exodus Biosciences from the University of Kansas and Mechanodontics from University of California, Los Angeles each received $2,500 as finalist runners up.

Additional Awards:

NVC judges also awarded additional prizes to the following groups:

  • Best Elevator Pitch ($1,500): Lapovations, LLC, University of Arkansas
  • Best at Trade Show ($1,500): YIMBY, Portland State University
  • Best Written Business Plan ($1,500): Fresh2Joy Co., Ltd., Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration
  • Palo Alto Software LivePlan Award ($1,000): YIMBY, Portland State University

AECOM Sustainability Round:

Teams that entered the AECOM Sustainability Round were asked to present an executive summary addressing how their venture would address environmental or social issues. The winning teams of this round are:

  • First place ($3,000): Fresh2Joy Co., Ltd., Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration
  • Second place ($1,000): Kau Bell Vodka, University of Oregon
  • Runners-up ($400 each):
    • Instaplan KBRT, Thammasat University
    • WeavAir, Ryerson University
    • YIMBY, Portland State University

Starve Ups Lightning Round:

Teams that did not qualify for the final round participated in the Starve Ups Lightning Round. Four teams won their Lightning Round track and $1,500 each. These winners include:

  • MedKairos, University of Michigan
  • Multivate, LLC, Oklahoma State University
  • SalvePeds, University of Notre Dame
  • WeavAir, Ryerson University

The remaining teams were awarded $750 each as Lightning Round runners-up.

Frontier Management Undergraduate Competition:

Current undergraduate students of Oregon 4-year universities took part in the Frontier Management Undergraduate Competition on Friday, April 20. The winners are:

  • First place ($2,000): Produce Mate, University of Portland
  • Second place ($1,250): ShoeBio Inc., Oregon State University
  • Third place ($750): Seiji's Bridge, Portland State University

All other teams received $250 each for participating.

High School Competition:

Through collaboration with TiE Young Entrepreneurs Oregon (TYE) and Young Entrepreneurs Business Week (YEBW), a pitch competition was held for high school students on Saturday, April 21. The following students were awarded scholarships to either the University of Oregon, the University of Portland, or Portland State University:

  • First place ($1,250): Summer App (TYE participant)
  • Second place ($750): Cap Shirt (YEBW participant)
  • Runners Up ($500 each):
    • Concussie (YEBW participant)
    • Flame (TYE participant)
    • Topknot (YEBW participant)

On behalf of the participants, faculty advisors, and staff of the 2018 New Venture Championship, we would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all of our sponsors and judges. Without you, NVC truly would not be possible, and we are tremendously grateful for your support.


The following are the semifinalist teams that competed in the graduate competition at the 2018 New Venture Championship.

Georgia Institute of Technology
(United States)
Atramento has revolutionized the tattoo industry with the development of a self-applied permanent tattoo patch. With this technology, consumers gain a new level of assurance in getting tattoos. Get your tattoo on your own time, wherever you're most comfortable. Atramento: A Better Way to Tattoo!

Aday Technologies, Inc.
Harvard Business School (United States)
Aday is a workforce management tool that allows hourly workers to schedule themselves. This means there's less managerial time spent scheduling, fewer dropped shifts, less overtime for workers, and smaller turnover rates. This tool leaves workers happier and saves employers up to 10% of labor costs.

Johns Hopkins University (United States)
Liver cancer is the third-deadliest form of cancer, affecting more than 700,000 people worldwide. Emboquant is designing a smarter catheter to make embolization—the primary treatment procedure for liver cancer—safer and more effective, thus improving the standard of care for patients in need.

BackWave Technologies
Northwestern University and University of Michigan (United States)
BackWave Technologies is developing the BackWave Hero, a non-invasive cardiac output monitor that measures the deadly progression of heart failure. Patients use the Hero at home, once per day. When heart output declines, the Hero wirelessly alerts the patient’s physician. With the use of the Hero, physicians can intervene and adjust treatment well before a hospitalization or death occurs.

Multivate, LLC
Oklahoma State University (United States)
Multivate created an innovative, high-quality solution to streamline biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Multivate’s multi-chamber, single-use bioreactor allows biopharmaceutical manufacturers to save fixed costs, variable costs, production space, and reduce the risk of microbial contamination and complete loss of product.

Portland State University (United States)
For urban homeowners who want a small backyard home (ADU), YIMBY is an ADU designer and manufacturer offering an affordable, beautiful, and sustainable solution. YIMBY ADUs are tailor-made for dense neighborhoods and provide an excellent return on investment. Our goal is to manufacture modularly seamless ADUs that can be efficiently transported and assembled on-site, enabling us to drive down construction time and costs without sacrificing quality or aesthetics.

Ryerson University (Canada)
WeavAir harnesses advanced sensor technology and predictive analytics to manage high-value HVAC systems, save money, improve health, and streamline operations. We developed patent-pending modules that attach to vents and filters to measure the air coming out of these systems. We combined sensor networks with predictive algorithms based on neural networks to prevent HVAC system failure and improve building occupant well-being.

Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration (Thailand)
Fresh2Joy Co., Ltd was established with the vision of developing a 100% natural, innovative fruit treatment that reduces major waste issues from spoilage for all stakeholders in the supply chain. Our mission is to promote flexibility in transportation for importers, exporters, and wholesalers while enabling retailers to sell more fruits. This improves both the economic value of the global fruit market and environmental conditions.

Instaplan KBRT
Thammasat University (Thailand)
Each year, half of the 16 million new cancer cases worldwide occur in Asia, a region facing a severe shortage of medical physicists who plan cancer radiation treatment. InstaPlan KBRT Company outsources radiation treatment planning, enabling hospitals to increase up to 50% of their existing capacity. This reduces patient wait time and increases patient in-take and coverage of cancer needs.

Lapovations, LLC
University of Arkansas (United States)
Lapovations, LLC is a medical device company focused on creating a platform for innovative products to improve laparoscopy. Our first product, AbGrab®, is an FDA Class I, patent-pending, single-use medical device that uses suction to attach to and lift the abdominal wall more reliably and less invasively than current lifting methods. We own 100% of the IP and are well positioned to execute our strategy in this $750 million market growing over 10% annually.

University of California, Los Angeles (United States)
We designed customized braces that reduce the overall treatment time by half, cut the number of clinician visits from 25 to 3, reduce overall pain, and increase oral hygiene. Our braces are located behind the teeth and therefore are not visible.

University of California, San Diego (United States)
CReATE is developing a computational algorithm that predicts patient-specific response to cardiac resynchronization therapy. Our algorithm has more than 30% greater accuracy than current methods, through precision medicine analysis of currently used imaging and EKG data. Our product provides improved confidence and can save insurance over $2.5 billion annually. We hope to increase the number of patients eligible for the lifesaving CRT procedure.

Exodus Biosciences
University of Kansas (United States)
Exodus Biosciences pioneered the Autoimmunity Index for Multiple Sclerosis (AIMS), a non-invasive diagnostic test for individuals “at-risk” for MS. Earlier detection through blood-based markers allows AIMS-diagnosed patients to receive disease-relevant therapeutics sooner than possible with a traditional MRI and mitigates much of the long-term disability and health care costs imposed by unrestricted MS.

University of Michigan (United States)
1 in 5 biopsies fails to collect an adequate sample to make a diagnosis. More than 500,000 thyroid biopsies across the U.S. are repeated, costing the average institution $1.1 million annually. MedKairos has developed the Bioptic platform to ensure a diagnostic sample is collected. With 100% ownership of our IP and the means to clear the FDA, our team is positioned to launch Bioptic in spring 2019. We are MedKairos and we make biopsies count the first time, every time.

University of Notre Dame (United States)
SalvePeds is a pharmaceutical company offering the drug ND-336 as a topical therapy to treat diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs). Pre-clinical studies show this drug accelerates healing and is more efficacious than the only FDA-approved drug, Regranex™. Our goal is to provide an effective and convenient healing therapy for DFUs to prevent thousands of amputations and fatalities. We have initiated IND-enabling studies and plan to begin phase I clinical trials in early 2019.

Kau Bell Vodka
University of Oregon (United States)
Kau Bell Vodka is a spirit company with “farm to flask” roots. Innovatively crafted from the high-quality whey of local dairy producers, Kau Bell Vodka creates a value-added outlet for small businesses by transforming an existing waste stream into a valuable consumer product. The result is a velvety-smooth premium vodka with the unique combination of a delicious, local craft spirit and an authentic commitment to sustainability.