Quinnipiac students sweep top spots at Connecticut State Business Plan Competition
April 26, 2022
April 26, 2022
The annual competition is an opportunity for all students enrolled in either a 2- or 4-year public or private university. The competition is run by the Entrepreneurship Foundation and features two main categories: personal venture and new venture.
This year, seven teams comprised of a total of 15 Quinnipiac students competed.
Dale Jasinski, associate professor of entrepreneurship and strategy, has led students through this competition since he arrived in 2000.
“Competing in a competition like this or in the national competitions is usually the first step in actually launching. Almost every Quinnipiac alumnus who is an entrepreneur that I mentor had their start in a competition,” Jasinski said.
This year, Quinnipiac took the top two spots in both divisions. In the personal venture category, first place went to Twoothie, a children’s toothbrushing product, and second place went to ULLR, a snow sports ski guide mobile app.
In the new venture category, first place went to ProsperOn, a way of reducing financial anxiety in young adults through education, and second place went to Trakr, a way to optimize lacrosse training.
Sweeping these categories is no new feat for Quinnipiac entrepreneurs. Jasinski highlighted just how motivated the students are.
“We are the only school in the country to have had teams in all of the five major national competitions for three years in a row, and this year we had an MBA team make the semi-finals of the University of Oregon new venture championship,” Jasinski said.
Emily Kane ’23, is one of the creators of Twoothie, a double-sided toothbrush for children. Kane expressed how important Quinnipiac has been in her product’s journey.
“Sophia Casino and I relied on our professors, Prof. Sanders and Prof. Jasinski, throughout the whole process. Professor Sanders helped us with our pitch and developing our business model and marking plan, and Professor Jasinski helped us with our application and the process for entering the competition,” Kane said.
Jonathan Rosenblum ’21, MBA ’22, was one of the creators of personal venture second-place winner, ULLR.
“ULLR is a snowsports app that suggests trails based on your riding habits as well as gives you crucial information about lift lines, lift prices, traffic and weather all before you make the decision to hop on a plane or car and make the trek to the mountain. ULLR takes the headache out of the ski day and allows you to focus on what is most important to you – enjoying the mountains,” Rosenblum said. Rosenblum and his co-creators hope to continue developing ULLR for a projected launch in late 2023.
New venture category first place winner ProsperOn was the result of teamwork by Aidan Rausch ’21, MBA ’22, Ben Weber ’21, MBA ’22, Jake Scurrah ’23, and Tony Cerce ’21.
“ProsperOn strives to eliminate financial stress and anxiety by addressing the root of the problem, education. Our innovative approach teaches students financial literacy through storylines and decision points they resonate with, like a ‘choose your own adventure book.’ The product is sold to students through colleges and universities as a standalone resource,” Rausch said.
The group had help from not only the entrepreneurship faculty, mainly Dale Jasinski and Dave Tomczyk, but also from School of Business Dean Holly Raider and Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett.
“We have spent the last year and a half exploring many business models and products. To see this one get some traction and recognition was incredibly rewarding and we are excited to ride this momentum going forward,” Rausch said.
Their team is currently looking for new members to build their product, and interested individuals are encouraged to connect with them on LinkedIn.
Trackr, the second-place winner in the new venture category, was created by Colin Uyeki MD ’25, alongside his executive team that included Director of Engineering Janos Kanyo, Director of Business Operations Alec Uyeki, CIO John Neil, and Director of Marketing Max Groen.
“Our team’s product is called the Trakr, it’s a custom device that athletes can attach to their equipment during training to give them feedback that will accelerate their growth and allow them to share progress on social media and within teams,” Uyeki said. “For my team, we have a long road ahead. We are hoping to continue to develop the product, make connections, and enter pitch competitions all with the goal of being ready for a competitive accelerator by November of this year.”
Jasinski attests much of the students’ success to their ambition and what they do beyond the classroom.
“Our success is a great demonstration of the drive and ambition of our students to go above and beyond what is required in a class or even for their degree. Competing isn’t fun as you are judged in an open manner and the students who represent us do so despite those concerns,” Jasinski said.
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