UA Startup Echo Takes Grand Prize and Wins $10,000 at McGuire New Venture Competition on April 25

April 26, 2019

NVC Winners

Echo, a new student venture that aims to revolutionize the concept of a great night out, took the Grand Prize of $10,000 at the New Venture Competition on April 25. The annual entrepreneurial competition featured 23 student startups competing for $40,000 in cash and prizes. 

Students accepted into the McGuire New Venture Development Program receive a year of intensive experiential education where they learn the principles of entrepreneurship through the hands-on process of building a venture from early-stage idea to launch-ready business. The New Venture Development Program class of 2019 consists of 104 students hailing from cross-campus colleges including the Eller College of Management, College of Engineering and the College of Optical Sciences.

Semi-finalists were to present a three minute pitch followed by a two minute Q&A session. This year’s competition featured 12 semi-finalist teams: 

  • Echo 
  • Exakt Technology
  • FliBy
  • FOND
  • Guided
  • Pivot
  • Vivify Tea Co.
  • WildJoy
  • Zap
  • SPEC Sports Betting
  • Montage Trip

Finalist teams presented a five minute pitch followed by a five minute Q&A session. The top three winning ventures:

  • First Place: Echo, a crowdsourced application that provides information for your night out including bar atmosphere, promotions, wait times, cover charges, etc. 
  • Second Place: Vivify Tea Co., a tea retailer that sells high quality, refreshing CBD-infused teas. 
  • Third Place: FOND, a sparkling mead startup that elevates the everyday moments of consumers from mundane to memorable. 

Other notable awards received included:

  • Microsoft Social Innovation Award: Athena VR
  • Startup Stay in Tucson Award: VivifyGuided and Exakt Technology
  • Perkins Coie Award: Zap

“We’re incredibly proud of the creative problem solving and teamwork displayed by our teams this year,” says Rick Yngve, interim director of the McGuire Center. “They have learned invaluable skills and should all feel very accomplished.”