Student Startup PLEY takes home $10,000 Grand Prize at 2020 New Venture Competition

April 28, 2020


PLEY, a swipe-based app that matches hungry people with places to eat considering the user’s feelings, bested six other student startup teams to win the grand prize of $10,000 at the 2020 McGuire New Venture Competition (NVC) on Friday, April 17. The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship is part of the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. 

Runner up Aura took second place for $5,000. Aura provides healthy alternatives to existing sports drinks by creating beverages with sustained energy and clinically proven endurance benefits. Sentry Car Security came in third for $2,500. Sentry Car Security is equipped with many features to ensure vehicle safety and enable a simple approach to deter theft through self-monitored surveillance. 

“Across the board, this was one of the best, most vibrant competitions we’ve had so far,” says John Sharp, mentor-in-residence at the McGuire Center. “Especially in terms of the circumstances the teams had to present in—it was nothing short of amazing. We are extremely proud of the bright future our students are creating.” 

The McGuire Center hosted the 2020 New Venture Competition from 1-4 p.m. on April 17. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition took place for the first time on a YouTube Live broadcast

This year, there were six student new venture teams that qualified for NVC and competed for the $10,000 grand prize. These student teams from the McGuire Center’s New Venture Development Program spent their senior year receiving intensive experiential education that engaged them in the process of moving innovation from an early-stage idea to a sustainable launch-ready venture.  

This year's events sponsors include H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and Microsoft, the McGuire Center's Annual Social Impact Sponsor. For more details and to see a list of this year's student venture teams, visit the McGuire Center website.