On Thursday, April 20th, the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship hosted their 9th Annual GW New Venture Competition finals in the Jack Morton Auditorium with more than $300K in donation and support. Out of the 32 semi-finalists in the technology venture, new venture, and the social venture tracks combined, only 12 made it to the finals.
The twelve teams, in their competition sequence, are : Agaport, The Pocket Palette, Fourth Wave Studios, Opal: Medical Equipment Management System, The Forgotten Fruit, Bernik, drwr, Urgent Wellness, Berg Bites, GiveButter, KnoNap, and Clean Condense.
At 6pm, Senator Mark R. Warner, the keynote speaker of the night shared a few wise words followed by a presentation from the 2016 GW New Venture Competition winner, HomeGrown Farms.
During the day, the teams had already presented privately in front of a panel of judges. At 6:30pm, the finalists teams began their pitch presentations in front of the audience. The time limit for the public presentation was five minutes. This meant that the teams had to woo the audience in that little amount of time in order to win the Audience Choice Award cash-prize of $5,000!
After the first six teams performed, it was time for the Distinguished Entrepreneurial Achievement Award to be presented. This year, the award was given to the School of Engineering and Science alumni, Vicki and Carl Gumtow who are also the co-founders of CyberPoint. Carl and his wife Vicki founded CyberPoint in 2009 in downtown Baltimore and today they employ more than 200 people who help with cyber-security worldwide.
Karl Gumtow giving his speech after winning the 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneurial Achievement Award
What's so special about the Gumtows is that not only did they fall in love at GW and get married after graduation or that they the co-founders of such a big cyber-security company but that they are also big philanthropists.
After the insightful speech by Carl Gumtow about the necessary ingredients to a successful business and how he is lucky to be working with his soulmate and his wife, the remaining six finalists also made their pitches to the audience.
The finalist prizes were awarded by various notable individuals from First Lady of Florida, Ann Scott, to the innovation manager of AARP, Patrick Keane.
The winner of the 9th annual GW New Venture Competition was Urgent Wellness winning $50,000, in addition to other In-Kind cash prizes. Berg Bites came second with $10,000, followed by Agaport winning $5,000 at third place and The Pocket Palette in fourth place with $2,500.
KnoNap accepting the Audience Choice Award of $5,000.
The audience were able to vote for the Audience Choice Award on the app GWNewVenture. The winner of Audience Choice Award was KnoNap. Other various prizes were also awarded at the competition.
The Rival congratulates and extends its best wishes to the winners of the 9th annual GW New Venture Competition.