Recently, McLennan SBDC's Jane Herndon was one of ten judges for the finals of the fourth annual Baylor New Venture Competition held at Baylor University February 25 – 27, 2016. It is a dual round business plan and speed pitch competition promoting student entrepreneurship and small business development. The event provides expert feedback and the opportunity to win prizes to help fund ventures. This year, 80+ student teams from across the country competed for over $138,000 in award money.
First place was awarded to TriFusion Devices from Texas A&M University. The group has developed highly customizable 3-D printed prosthetic limb devices. The team was awarded $50,000 cash plus services, including consulting, workspace and server hosting.
Second place was awarded to Rhizofeed, LLC, from University of Pikeville. The group replaces antibiotic use in the poultry industry with its all-natural, patent-protected product. It enables farmers to raise healthier, larger chickens, while reducing feed costs. The team was awarded $25,000 cash, plus other prizes.
Third place was awarded to VasoCorp, from the University of West Georgia. The group is commercializing a new, patent-pending neuropathy supplement designed to treat the underlying causes of neuropathy, rather than the symptoms. The team was awarded $10,000 cash, plus other prizes. VasoCorp also won the Able Award, providing $25,000 in debt investment capital. The team worked with the University of West Georgia's SBDC to develop and refine its business model.
The Dell Award – a $12,500 cash prize – was awarded to Auburn University's Parking Grid Technologies, a provider of data that makes parking less painless for drivers and parking lot managers. Dell was the title sponsor of the New Venture Competition.