This year’s UO Startup Week, held November 16-20, was a virtual showcase of entrepreneurship and innovation on campus and within the greater Eugene community.
Presented by the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, the event boasted nearly a dozen free sessions available for students, faculty, alumni, and the general public to join.
The elevator pitch competition, held annually during Startup Week, saw 10 student finalists pitching their ideas in 60 seconds to an esteemed panel of alumni judges that included Cameron Colvin, president of CamCo Commercial Inc. and CEO of Rise Above Enterprises; Sarah Hoffman, chief marketing officer of Jenny Craig; and Cameron Forni, the founder and president of Select Oil at CuraLeaf.
MBA student Tyler Purvis took home the top prize for his venture Neurowise Solutions, a startup that provides objective marketing research using psychophysiological techniques.
Business undergraduate students Mia Lopez and Alden Schatz came in second place with a reward-based dining platform venture targeted at college students. Chemistry major Isabel Roberts placed third for proposing a chemical-based safety device that prevents sexual assaults.
Participants were excited to learn that judges Colvin and Forni contributed to doubling the night’s prize pot, allowing the winners to walk away with $2,000 for their efforts.
Other highlights included:
- Eight Lundquist College faculty members—hailing from all five of the college’s departments—each presented their research in five minute allotments.
- During the “Entrepreneurship and the Sciences” event, Andrew Nelson, associate vice president for entrepreneurship and innovation, highlighted the role that entrepreneurship can play in the hard sciences and discussed the entrepreneurial resources on campus with Avinash Singh, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oregon, and PhD student Ruth Maust.
- Ness Zolan, MBA ’19, conducted a workshop entitled “Entrepreneurship and the Arts” that highlighted the similarities between artists and entrepreneurs and discussed ways that artists can think about monetization.
- Onward Eugene presented “Spotlight on Women Entrepreneurs in Oregon,” featuring four female founders who shared their startup journey and the resources that helped them get to where they are today.
—Kate Harmon, Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship