Proposal for Crowdsourcing Sound App Wins 2012 Concept Competition
14 November 2012. The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Darden’s Batten Institute has announced the winner of the 2012 Concept Competition held on 8 November: Second Year Student Owen Larkin III, whose concept Speaker Social proposes a smartphone app that uses Bluetooth and WiFi technology to allow users to connect to the devices of their friends, in essence crowdsourcing a sound system. By launching the app along with the built-in MP3 player (or another music platform), an individual can stream a song through not only their phone’s speakers, but the speakers of up to seven additional app users at a time.
Second place was awarded to Second Year Student Alexandra Becker for phoodE, a cloud based online platform that helps small food service businesses manage their operations more efficiently.
Tied for third place were Second Year Students Allison Fast and Liz Putze for Loan Registry, an online platform that channels crowd-sourced payments from friends and families to pay down outstanding student loans; and First Year Students Monte Jones and Nate David for MobilGym, which would market portable fitness equipment for deployed military personnel.
Judges of this year’s competition included: John Bracken, CEO, Speek; Nathaniel Casey, CEO and co-founder, Blazetrak.com; and James Erler, Principal, Erler Design.
As winner of Darden's Concept Competition, Larkin will advance to represent Darden at the U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup competition on 16 November.
"ENTREPRENEUR CONTESTS TAKE PRACTICAL TURN," by Melissa Korn, 2 Feb 2012, Wall Street Journal
Less planning, more legwork. That's the formula some business schools are using to overhaul the competitions they conduct each year to test their students' mettle as entrepreneurs ....The University of Virginia's Darden School of Business is developing a new contest to judge how well students manage the unpredictable demands of starting a fledging business.... More (WSJ online)
Proposal for Maple Water Wins 2011 Concept Competition
8 Nov. 2011. The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Darden’s Batten Institute has announced the winners of the 2011 Concept Competition held on 3 November: Darden First Year student Scott Caras and Sam Reiche, who introduced maple water to Caras, will compete in the U.Va. Cup on 18 November. The company is presently advancing toward commercialization in New England under the corporate name M2O, Inc., securing licenses, production space and partners for supply, marketing and distribution of bottled maple water, a liquid that is tapped from maple trees and is shown to have numerous health benefits.
Second place was awarded to First Year student Lauren Byrne for Bridal Brokerage and Third Place was awarded to Second Year student Jon Carrier for 501 Auctions.
Judges for this year’s competition included Darden alumni Sean Eidson (MBA ’04), CEO and Co-Founder of TRUE linkswear; Tim Grant (MBA ’89), founder and CEO of Resurgent Capital Services; Bradley Kipp (MBA ’09), Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development at Cardagin Networks, Inc.; and David Richards (MBA ’89), CEO of Concursive Inc.
THE CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP AND ITS BUSINESS INCUBATOR RECEIVE GCEC AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS TO ENTERPRISE CREATION
22 Oct 2011. Each year, the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) honors the best and brightest in entrepreneurship education. Darden’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and its Business Incubator received GCEC’s 2011 award for outstanding contributions to enterprise creation, presented at the GCEC’s annual conference, held this year at the University of Southern California, 20 – 23 October. The award recognizes those centers which most extensively support and advance enterprise creation and growth while establishing a high number of viable, successful new enterprises. Centers must also effectively tie program activities and teaching to specific enterprise outcomes. More ... (download Media Alert)
Darden Ranks #3 in the Nation for Entrepreneurship Darden Media (20 Sept 2011)
"Darden Business Incubator Concludes for the Season but Students Venture On," Darden Media (13 Sept 2011)
Former Incubator Company, LendStreet, Mentioned in Forbes Read More
UVA’S DARDEN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND BATTEN INSTITUTE ANNOUNCE EMERGING VENTURES IN 2011 BUSINESS INCUBATOR - Incubator ventures taking an ‘effectual’ approach to start-up practices -
− Multiple new programs, including a Legal Clinic, complement $13K support per venture -
June 20, 2011 - The Darden School of Business and its Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Batten Institute today announced the latest entrepreneurship ventures participating in the Darden Business Incubator, Darden’s on campus program to support its MBA students developing promising early-stage business ventures.
The Darden Business Incubator is unique in that it supplies each incoming venture with more than $13,000 to support their development and cover expenses. New in this year’s program is a series of pre-Incubator workshops including a Legal Clinic, developed through a partnership with the UVA School of Law and the Woods Rogers law firmto provide free legal services to new ventures.
"This year's group of twelve companies admitted to the Incubator is one of the strongest groups to date both in the novelty of concepts being advanced and the commitment to taking an ‘effectual’ approach to starting businesses," said Philippe Sommer, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “There have been a number of highly successful companies that have emerged from our Incubator and by working closely with this year’s terrific group of participants on the process of new venture development we’ll continue to improve their potential for future entrepreneurial success.”
The Incubator also provides additional critical resources, such as physical office space and expert advice from the legal, marketing and technology communities, as well as assistance in finding third-party investment support – all within the framework of a community of fellow entrepreneurs over the course of a year.
Among the many success stories from previous years in the Darden Business Incubator, Husk Power Systems (HPS), a venture co-founded by Darden alumni Chip Ransler (MBA’09) and Manoj Sinha (MBA’09) which provides electricity to rural India, was awarded the prestigious 2011 Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy in the International Category.
While each venture must involve a Darden student or recent graduate, the Incubator is also open to members of the wider University of Virginia community who are interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial business idea. Projects are selected for the commitment of the student(s), the persuasiveness of the business concept and the research behind it.
New programs added this year included a series of pre-Incubator workshops:
- Legal Clinic: Through a partnership with the UVA School of Law and the Woods Rogers law firm, the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership initiated a series of programs to provide free legal services to new ventures. UVA Law students are partnered with Incubator students under the supervision of a practicing attorney.
- E*Tech Mash-up: Aspiring entrepreneurs presented their ventures before technical experts and received advice concerning the practicality, requirements, scope, difficulty, and implementation of their ideas. Quick pitches were followed by the opportunity to breakout into smaller groups at this event organized by the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council and the Neon Guild.
- Internet Start-up Workshop: Incubator students developed their technical knowledge and learned about the powerful tools that are available to build websites from current and former Darden students with technical expertise.
- Incubator Pitch for Help Session: Incubator students pitched their ventures to alumni to ask for non-monetary support such as customer contacts, strategic partnerships, key personnel and expertise.
Among the dozen participants in this year’s ventures are:
Abt Labs, founded by Darden Second Year student Kevin Abt, will create a revolutionary line of “smart” sporting goods and apparel that measure athletic performance. The initial line of products will comprise sensors embedded into sporting equipment, and accompanying software to accurately measure and analyze speed, movement, trajectory, and rotation. The product is intended as a training tool to help athletes, coaches, and evaluators accurately capture, analyze, and catalog performance through a flexible set of metrics applicable to the specific sport.
Buy Time, founded by alumni Matt Parker (MBA’11) and Stefan Talman (MBA’11) with Darden Second Year student Teddy Jones, sells “Fare Freezes” which allow customers to lock in airfare rates for a period of time through partnerships with large online travel agencies.
DealStage, created by Darden Second Year student Greg Herrington, is a software productivity tool for law firms to assist them with closing deals between multiple law firms and client firms in a more transparent and less costly manner. www.dealstage.com/
Groundswell, founded by Darden Second Year student Jacqueline Wilde, is an organization that focuses on helping people to live healthier and happier lives through active living, nutrition education and holistic health offerings. One such offering is Pop-Up Yoga, which offers yoga classes in public spaces and partners with local businesses to leverage open spaces for yoga classes.
Music Project, founded by Carlos Camacho (MBA’11) is a social media-based fan relationship management platform for professional musicians. The Music Project platform offers to fans free listening and sharing of digital music and to musicians powerful analytics about their fanbase along with an innovative social media engagement space that assists in creating income opportunities.
NOMUDA Games, winner of the 2011 Darden Business Plan Competition, is pioneering story-based episodic game content for mobile platforms. Founder Joe Chard (MBA’11) employs vivid, imaginative environments to explore and addictive, touch-based puzzles embedded in the environment to pace the storytelling experience. https://www.facebook.com/nomuda
Stylher, founded by Emily DeSanctis (MBA’11) and Leila Ledsinger (MBA’11) is an online clothing and accessories recommendation system offered free of charge that combines a user’s unique body dimensions with personal style preferences and budget to provide customized recommendations about where to shop and what to buy. Stylher’s mission is twofold: to simplify the process of finding clothes that fit well and look good, and to help retailers improve online conversions and reduce returns by recommending customers who fit their sizing and designs.
SynkMonkey, founded by Hunter Murchison (MBA’11) and Jay Subhash (MBA’11), is a mobile app that allows users to easily schedule meetings and appointments via rich text messages with integrated date/time and mapping technology, while auto-populating a calendar with the meeting details. Synk Monkey will collect data about what user’s future plans are, thus enabling the company to deliver highly targeted and relevant ads, coupons, or other services. www.synkmonkey.com
Tee Gee, founded by Darden Second Year student Tom Giedgowd, is a toy development company whose next project is an interactive stuffed animal that “grows” with the child to provide age-appropriate stories, games, and conversations.
The Third Space, founded by Darden Second Year student Trevor Thomas, will be an “interactive arthouse lounge” located in Los Angeles’ LAX airport. In partnership with local university studio art programs, The Third Space concept calls for student artwork on exhibit as well as for sale, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, snacks and access to vintage and modern video games.
Travel Gems, founded by Brianne Warner (MBA’11), is an online, personalized travel guide. Users input information about their favorite sites in cities they have visited and Travel Gems applies the information to create a travel guide for cities the users want to visit in the future.
Validate Contract, founded by Kyle Hawke (MBA’11), provides a software platform that estimates a project’s length or cost using a prediction market run by either an organization’s employees or a diverse network of third-party experts.
NOMUDA Games Wins 2011 Darden-UVa Business Plan Competition
At the final round of the annual Darden-UVa Business Plan Competition on April 15, six teams rallied for the title. The winner, NORUDA Games, was represented by Joe Chard (MBA'11) and Jacob Richardson. Awards were given as follows:
1st – NOMUDA Games
2nd - TheraCord
Samantha Clark (UVa BME PhD candidate)
And graduate students from The Johns Hopkins University:
Sean Monagle; Elias Bitar; Chris Chiang; Matthew Means; and James Waring.
3rd – Stylher
Emily DeSanctis (MBA'11)
Leila Ledsinger (MBA'11)
4th – BUYTIME
Matthew Parker (MBA'11)
Stefan Talman (MBA'11)
E*Tech Mash-up Gathers Students, Community, Tech Experts
There was standing room only at the inaugural E*-Tech Mashup on March 30th held in Darden’s i.Lab space. The event, hosted by the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council and co-sponsored by the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and the University of Virginia E* Society brought together representatives of six local ventures who pitched their technological challenges to tech experts from the Neon Guild. It was a unique opportunity for students from several schools at U.Va. to interact with local business owners, alumni, and others who are interested in emerging technology.
“The feedback from students was very positive. Stay tuned - we hope to see this event again in the Fall,” said MJ Toms, Associate Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Entrepreneurship Program Ranked #14 in U.S. News 2012
Darden Incubator Listed in NYT Read More
Prof. Saras Sarasvathy's Research Featured in Inc. Read More
Alumni Start Up Featured in NYT online Read More
Alumni Start Up Featured in Fast Company
Prof. S. Sarasvathy's Interview on WYPR (Baltimore)
Winner Announced in 2010 Concept Competition
The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Darden has announced the winner of the 2010 Concept Competition held on November 11: Brianne Warner, whose Pix-by-Post concept offers software connected to Facebook, Flickr, SmugMug and other photo-sharing sites that streamlines the process of ordering prints of digital photos for friends and family. The prints are free, paid for by selecting a coupon for the recipient that is printed on the back of the photo.
Second place was awarded to Natalie Schafer and Jessica Mantooth for Cooking Up a Community and Third Place was awarded to Matthew Parker and Stefan Talman for Buy Time, Inc.
Judges for this year’s competition included two Darden alumni Lyons Brown, the Founder and CEO of Altmar Brands; Adam Healey, the co-founder and CEO of hotelicopter; and also Kathryne Carr, founding partner of Tall Oaks Capital.
As winner of Darden's Concept Competition, Warner advanced to represent Darden at the U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup competition on November 19 where she received an Honorable Mention and a check for $5,000.
Prof. Saras Sarasvathy Presented at TEDxMidAtlantic (11/5/10)
Philippe Sommer on The Darden BusinessCast (10/1/10)
Darden Ranks #7 in the Nation for Entrepreneurship (9/22/10)
- 2010 Princeton Review Ranking for Entrepreneur Magazine Places Darden in the Top of the Class for Graduate Studies -
- Over $1 Million in Entrepreneurship Scholarships Awarded Annually; Recently Unveiled i.Lab Rooted in Multi-Disciplinary Thinking -
- Academics Complemented by Unwavering Commitment to Experience-Based Approach for Creating Successful Entrepreneurial Ventures -
Charlottesville, VA – September 22, 2010 – From over 2,000 schools surveyed by The Princeton Review for Entrepreneur magazine, the Darden School of Business’s entrepreneurship program ranked #7 in the nation in the graduate category of the survey.
"Students at Darden discover that entrepreneurship is learned, not innate, and that being entrepreneurial is about "effectual" and not "causal" thinking," said Philippe Sommer, Director of Darden’s newly created Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. "That’s a very powerful proposition in today’s business environment. Not only do we invest heavily in academics, with top ranked faculty and game-changing courses emerging from Darden’s Batten Institute, but we also build on this academic foundation with an unrelenting focus on experience-based programs and initiatives that empower our students to create successful businesses. Our hands-on approach has extended to new UVA-wide programs, such as the UVA Entrepreneurship Cup and the UVA Venture Summit, helping to create a vibrant and extensive entrepreneurial ecosystem university-wide."
"Behind the top ranked schools is not only a great formal classroom experience, but a cross-disciplinary approach to teaching entrepreneurship that embraces and encourages a student’s vision to build a successful business," said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s senior vice president of publishing and nationally recognized expert on college admissions.
A number of new or expanded initiatives continue to distinguish Darden’s entrepreneurship program.
Earlier this year, Darden celebrated 10 years of success with its Business Incubator and unveiled its new i.Lab, a state-of-the-art learning environment complemented by an experience-based curriculum that inspires a new approach to teaching innovation and entrepreneurship. Other initiatives include a recently launched entrepreneurship concentration and a new alumni mentoring program and network. Darden’s upcoming annual Entrepreneurship Conference will explore the essentials to developing a new business, from idea generation to launch to exits, and, for the first time, will include an informal concept competition for alumni.
The eighth annual ranking reveals the nation’s top 25 undergraduate and top 25 graduate programs for entrepreneurship.
Incubator Hosts Record Numbers
This past summer, 18 entrepreneurship ventures were selected to participate in Darden's Business Incubator, housed in Darden's new i.Lab. "It's our largest group," says Philippe Sommer, director of Entrepreneurship Programs. The incubator’s mission is to help MBA students bring early-stage business ventures to life. Read More
Blog Post (9/8/2010):
"This summer, while most of my classmates jetted away from Charlottesville to crunch numbers in New York, strategize about the future of energy in Texas, or tackle marketing in the Twin Cities, I stayed put. I had applied for the Darden Business Incubator program, a summer-long support system for students dreaming of their own businesses." Read More
Brianne Warner (MBA'11) on "My Life in the Incubator"
Easy Ways to Stay in the Loop
- Join Darden's Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club (EVC Club) and the university-wide E*Society! Sign up for their email lists.
- Read about the events on the timeline above and put them and their application deadlines on your calendar. Set up reminders!
- Introduce yourself to Philippe Sommer, Director of Darden's Entrepreneurship Programs.