The 2015 McGuire New Venture Competition Winners Announced

May 1, 2015

The 2015 McGuire Entrepreneurship Program student startup teams presented their new ventures in a rapid-fire rocket pitch competition and interactive trade show May 1 at the McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase. $45,000 in cash and additional prizes was on the line. Here are the winning teams:  


Grand Prize Winner and $10,000: Co.Host 

Co.Host is a platform that creates company-specific networks of business travelers and hosts to bring lodging costs down, develop community, and reward users through incentives. Team members: Dustin Cox, MBA; Amelia Klawon, MBA; Adam Tank, MBA.

Second Place Winner and $5,000: RIO 

RIO facilitates peer-to-peer renting through an online platform, offering conflict dispute management, insurance, and feedback ratings. Team members: Jason Gray, JD/MBA; Abhirup Kheterpal, MBA; Jason Kwan, Pharmacy; Ari Nicolini, Biomedical Engineering.

Third Place Winner and $2,500: Stride 

Stride's mobile app helps runners pursue, achieve, and surpass their fitness goals through a one-of-a-kind rewards system. Team members: Kristen Ayers, Management; Tyler Jacobs, Marketing; Ryan Potter, Finance; David Pratt, Economics.

Swan/Starts Incubator Award worth $15,000: 

First: Infinurja

Infinurja designs, produces, and sells products that use organic waste and natural biological processes to generate continuous power to homes. Team members: Nicholas Jennings, Public Health Policy and Management; Vinay Nenwani, MBA and MS in MIS; and Adam Ross, Applied Bioscience: Molecular and Cellular Biology.

Second: CrateCrops

CrateCrops is an aquaponic technology manufacturer that creates experiential STEM platforms for K-12 schools by incorporating aquaponics, vertical gardening, and automation inside repurposed shipping containers. Team members: Reilly Cleal, Marketing; Scott Downey, Management; Yale Jesser, Marketing; Shawn Ludgate, Economics; and Phillip von Bieberstein, Plant Science.  

Connect Coworking Award worth $10,800: InHouse Real Estate Marketing 

InHouse Real Estate Marketing Platform provides real estate professionals with an intuitive, unified web application for brand enhancement, lead management, and marketing of listings. Team members: Brittany Auclair, Accounting; Onye Chi-ukpai, Accounting and MIS; Mat Friedman, Management; Cooper Kowalski, Marketing; and Luis Palomares, Management.

Best in Class Award and $1,000: Co.Host

People's Choice Award and $1,000: CrateCrops

For more information about the awards, visit $45,000 in cash and prizes to be awarded at McGuire New Venture Competition and Showcase. To see more photos from the day's event, visit our Facebook album

McGuire Entrepreneurship Program students receive a year of intensive experiential education that engages them in the process of moving innovation from an early-stage idea to a sustainable investor-ready venture. Learn more about all of the 2015 new venture teams.