OSU business plan competition showcases unique ideas

If the winners of the 2012 Ohio State University Business Plan Competition are any indication, the future of entrepreneurship is bright.

Hosted by OSU’s Fisher College of Business, the competition has two tracks: one for members of the public working with university students that is co-sponsored by Deloitte & Touche U.S.A. LLP and one exclusively for undergraduates that is co-sponsored by Venture Highway.

Winners of the former receive $130,000 in cash and services, while the first-place team in the latter receives a $5,000 cash prize. Plans are judged for their go-to-market potential by a jury of business and community leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs.

This year, a team comprised solely of women won the competition co-sponsored by Venture Highway− a first.

“I really enjoyed watching and working with these ladies as they joined up during our Foundations of Entrepreneurship class at Ohio State,” says Kevin Gadd, founder and CEO of Venture Highway. “They were selected by their peers as one of the top presentations in the entire class and I knew they had a good shot at winning this competition. Their idea and presentation were fantastic in the class and at the competition.  I am sure they will continue to have success and we will support them any way we can.”

The team’s product, Fidgit, is a sensory seat designed to aid children with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Fidgit helps them maintain upper body stability so they can focus on school work or other activities that require them to sit still.

“Women already have a strong presence in business at OSU, but it’s always great to be the first to accomplish something,” says Fidgit Team Leader Jenna Moomaw, a senior majoring in industrial design and minoring in dance education. “I am really proud of my team and I hope that it pushes more all-girl groups to jump into the business plan competition world.”

The other two finalists in the Venture Highway competition were Tutor Me University, a web application that lets university students register themselves as tutors for classes in which they excelled, and MediCinch, a mobile application that allows users to quickly locate health care facilities based on their insurance provider.

The winner of the competition co-sponsored by Deloitte & Touche is Core Quantum Technologies, which plans to develop and commercialize next generation illumination and detection nanoparticles.

The second-place team’s product, BizBio, is a web-based recruitment tool that lets students seeking internships and jobs create an online profile that features a video presentation and behavioral and cognitive assessments, allowing them to demonstrate their unique abilities to potential employers.

To learn more about the 2012 Ohio State University Business Plan Competition, click here.