The Lundquist College of Business hosted Civil War Shark Tank on May 6, which saw undergraduate students from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University (OSU) pitch their startup ideas and business plans in front of an audience and a panel of judges.
Civil War Shark Tank takes the premise of the popular ABC show to the college level. The location alternates each year between the two universities. The event this year took place in the Lillis Business Complex, and first place went to OSU’s Discjam, a flying disc with a speaker for music in its center. Finishing second was OSU’s Enterprising Education for its mobile learning center, and UO’s Mozco LLC, provider of Duck Feet—the “rain jacket for your shoes”—was awarded third place. Another UO team, Trail Supply Co., won crowd favorite.
For the UO student ventures, the event proved to be just one of many recent entrepreneurial pitch sessions this spring. In fact, it has quickly become a windfall year for undergraduate startups supported by the UO Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, with an unprecedented number of student ventures launched that have seen success in the broader community.
Mozco LLC, helmed by senior entrepreneurship and marketing major Leila Mozaffarian, for instance, is the only student venture going through The Duck Store’s Oregon Incubator Program. The company’s Duck Feet product launch is planned for August.
Meanwhile, two additional undergraduate ventures have legally organized as limited liability companies. They are Wildwood Towers LLC, a product by Keenan Hoar ’17 that brings the craft brew tap to the table while maintaining beverage freshness, and Portlandia Innovations LLC, a joint business and product design bicycle accessories venture coming out of a management course. The Portlandia Innovations team includes Thomas Blaze ’17 (entrepreneurship and marketing major); Tyler Kamerer ’17 (finance); Alex Reinhart ’17 (business administration); and Siobhan Mead ’17 (product design).
Still another UO venture, sophomore Spencer Holton’s Trail Supply Co., has been invited to go through RAIN (Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network) accelerator program this summer. Trail Supply offers supply logistics for thru hiking.
Finally, three undergraduate teams competed for the first time in Fertilab Thinkubator’s Pitch Stream competition April 27, an annual community-based early-stage business competition. Hoar’s Wildwood Towers LLC earned second place at the event, which included five UO teams out of a total of 10 competing. The other UO teams at Pitch Stream were Mozco, Portlandia Innovations, FOLD (a college laundry service created by first-year MBA student Micah Canal), and Animosa, (a feminine hygiene product for the outdoors from second-year MBAs Kate Blazar, Ally MacLean, and Maggie Perdzock). Animosa earned the top spot.
Said Kate Harmon, undergraduate program manager for the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, “We are excited to have so many dedicated entrepreneurs launching their businesses and finding success using the resources of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship, as well as our connections within the wider Eugene entrepreneurial ecosystem.”