Businesses from left to right: MoTrack, Beacon, RapidFire & Hopes for the Best.
PR Solutions LLC today announced the winners of the first annual i.Invest National Youth Business Competition. Mentored by a group of volunteer business and academic leaders from organizations, including Google, SEI Investments and Johns Hopkins University, four teams were selected from a pool of more than 25 to compete in a six-month web-based competition in order to qualify for the top prize.
This year’s winners are:
First Place – Beacon (formerly Atrium). Developed by Shrenik Jain, a 19-year-old Baltimore, MD resident. Beacon is a mobile platform that offers anonymity and support to those suffering from mental health issues. Prize: $2,000 non-equity investment, title of Invest 2016 Youth Business of the Year and the opportunity to pitch at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
Second Place – MoTrack Therapy. Developed by Rahul Yerrabelli, 18, Benjamin Pikus, 18, Himanshu Dashora, 18, Parth Singh, 19 and Adam Polevoy,19, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. MoTrack is a virtual reality software that has revolutionized the way patients can receive physical therapy for hand and wrist injuries. Prize: $1,000 non-equity investment
Third Place – RapidFire. Developed by Marc Baghadjian, 17, from Brunswick School in Greenwich, CT. RapidFire is an automated air-soft gun clip with the capacity to increase bullets to 400 per round, making the air-soft sport experience completely hands-free for users. Prize: $500 non-equity investment
Community Investment Award – Hopes for the Best. Developed by Cheyenne Rhone, 15, from West Mifflin High School in West Mifflin, PA. Hopes for the Best designs a fashion survival bracelet made from a special material called para cord 550 that can safely hold up to 500 lbs. Prize: $250 non-equity investment;opportunity to observe a BlueTree Allied Angels screening meeting and to participate in a one-hour consulting session with serial entrepreneur and executive director/chairman, Don Morrison; face-to-face legal consultation from Cherin Law Firm in Pittsburgh, PA and e-commerce consultation from LaToya C. Staten & Associates in Baltimore, MD.
In addition, all the winners will receive a one-hour marketing consultation with PR Solutions LLC; the opportunity to be a vendor and/or speaker during the #EYECON Youth Conference in May 2017 at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD; and, the opportunity to participate in a “Ask the Start-Up Attorney” no-fee virtual consultation with Cherin Law Firm.
“To say the competition exceeded our expectation is an understatement,” said executive director, Michelle Jackson. “We set out to create a mentoring program focused on bridging the gap between youth entrepreneurs with viable products and experienced business leaders. However, what we ultimately have is a way to shine a light on creative ideas being developed by the next generation of innovators – youth who learn through this process that no matter their age, geographical location or educational accomplishments, creating a great product can transcend all perceived limitations.”
The i.Invest competition is open to youth 13 to 19 years old with a demonstrable product or service. During the three rounds of scoring, applicants are required to submit a business concept profile, business plan, pitch video and participate in on-line group coaching with select judges.
“i.Invest doesn’t end with the awarding of prizes,” said Jackson. “Now that the winners have completed the process, they will continue to have access to our mentors. We are here to help them reach their personal and professional goals.”
The 2017 i.Invest competition will be launched in the coming months. To receive event updates and sponsorship information visit the i.Invest website or contact Michelle Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to the i.Invest 2016 Judges & Mentors
Artis Keith Turner, Serial Entrepreneur, President of TurnGroup Technologies, LLC, 2015 Innovation Fellowship for the Venture Café & YouthCITIES Youth
Craig Dixon, AWS Educate, Amazon Web Services
Curtis H. Austin, Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
Daraius Irani, Associate VP, DIAR of Towson University
David Tucker, Jr., Founder & Executive Director, On The Set Summer Film Camp
Don Morrison, Chairman of Deal Flow, BlueTree Allied Angels
Dr. Mansur Hasib, Professor and Author, University System of Maryland
Dr. Tamecka Knight, CEO & Owner, Premier Pediatrics of Houston
James Parren Courtney II, Owner, Courtney Consultants, LLC
Jennifer Mrzlack Co-founder, Naturi
Jerry Cozewith, Director of Development, Sarah Heinz House
Julie Kantor, CEO and Founder, Twomentor LLC
Ketaki Desai, Executive Director, eCenter@LindenPointe
LaToya Staten, Chief Collaborator, LaToya C. Staten & Associates
Matthew Miessau, Analyst, Epidarex Capital
Mike Capsambelis, Product Manager, Google
Mojdeh Bahar, Assistant Administer for Technology Transfer, USDA
Omar S. Muhammad, “Intrapreneur” & Director of the Entrepreneurial Development & Assistance Center (EDAC), Morgan State University
Professor Jim Liew, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
Regina Tillery, Director and CIO, Maryland Department of Commerce
Roderick Square, General Electric Hitachi
Susan R. Ramonat, Business Development Executive, Chief Risk Officer, SEI Investment
Timothy Taylor, CPA
Vernon Lee, Founder, Brightwood Management Partners, LLC
About PR Solutions LLC
PR Solutions LLC is a strategic marketing and corporate event planning firm that specializes in working with new and established ventures to build viable business models and to integrate innovative marketing tools into for-profit and non-profit business strategies. PR Solutions is the parent company of the i.Invest competition. To learn more, visit http://www.prsolutions123.com.