Competitions hosted by the UofL College of Business:

Business Competitions

Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge Business Plan Competition

The Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge represents a prestigious, global academic competition with real-world opportunities and experiences designed to stimulate and reward innovative thinking and entrepreneurial persistence. As a regional qualifying event for the international “Super Bowl” of business plan events, Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, the University of Louisville Brown-Forman Cardinal Challenge showcases new business concepts presented by MBA and graduate students from 12 of the country’s leading university entrepreneurship programs, including UofL. The Cardinal Challenge offers teams the opportunity to win over $15,000, an invitation to the Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, and the lucrative “Launch in Louisville” Package. Cardinal Challenge website.

Ballard Morton New Venture Competition

The Ballard Morton New Venture Competition is an annual business plan competition featuring teams of UofL College of Business MBA students competing for start-up capital for their innovative business concepts. In addition, winners have the opportunity to move on to regional and national competitions such as the Brown Forman Cardinal Challenge and Venture Labs Investment Competition.

Keg of Nails Sales Competition

The first Keg of Nails Sales Competition between students from the University of Cincinnati and the University of Louisville was held on in 2012 at the UofL College of Business.  Students presented a role play of selling a product. Each sales process was videotaped and presented to the buyers and judges, a team of sales professionals from the supporting companies. Keg of Nails website.

Walmart Better Living Business Challenge

The Walmart Better Living Business Challenge features teams of business school students presenting business plans to a panel of judges. The plans must be for sustainable, profitable new products or business processes with measurable positive environmental benefits.  The Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship hosts the Challenge Midwest Regional Competition at Harry Frazier Hall in the UofL College of Business.  Walmart Better Living Business Challenge website.

2013 Fall – 2014 Spring Competitions

Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 Season Results

Six Entrepreneurship MBA teams competed in 21 regional, national and global competitions with four wins and four additional finalist finishes, including placing 3rd in the world at the Global Championships at Global Venture Labs Investment Competition. Total cash winnings and investment commitments exceed $207,000. We now have won the Global Championship once in 2011 with three additional final four finishes, two in 2009 and one in 2014.

Global Venture Labs Investment Competition
May 1-3, Austin, Texas

Venture Labs Competition - Systemica Health and TheraBraceletSystemica Health and TheraBracelet represented UofL well in the premier world-wide investment competition in Austin, Texas.  GVIC is the longest-running investment competition for graduate student entrepreneurs. Half of the 2014 teams came from outside the U.S., representing Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, Jamaica, Norway, Sweden and Thailand.  TheraBracelet came in third out of 40 teams from 12 countries in the competition and received a check for $3,000.

Alltech Innovation Competition
Lexington, Kentucky, April 26

Alltech Competition -Trifecta Cooking Equipment teamTrifecta Cooking Equipment claimed first prize of $10,000 against eight Kentucky universities in Lexington at the Alltech Innovation Competition!  The team’s product, FuturFry, is a deep fryer that could save restaurants 40 percent on annual cooking oil costs.   Read more.

Rice Business Plan Competition
Houton, Texas, April 10-12

TheraBracelet at Rice CompetitionThe Rice Business Plan Competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level student startup competition open to university students from around the world who are seeking funding for their new venture. The event was held in Houston, Texas on April 10–12.  TheraBracelet won the Mercury Fund Tech Transfer Investment Prize of $100,000, first place in the PWSP LLP Challenge Round – $1,000, and Nick got 4th place in the Austin Ventures Elevator Pitch.

Idea State U
Lexington, Kentucky, April 11-12

Teams at Idea State UIdea State University, held in Lexington April 11 & 12, is Kentucky’s statewide business plan competition designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by rewarding student teams from the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities. Four teams from the UofL College of Business will be competing against a record 29 teams of undergraduate and graduate students from across the state.

Our four UofL teams won big!  Trifecta Cooking won more than $21,000 for best graduate business plan for its idea to market an open fryer using 40 percent less cooking oil than standard fryers.  CypressMD won more than $3,800 for best graduate concept for its plan to  commercialize a new intubation technology.  PocketParkU won more than $3,800 for best undergraduate concept for its plan to sell a mobile app that helps faculty, staff and students park on college campuses.  Jockey Analytics won more than $11,000 for second-best undergraduate plan for its horse racing industry system  that rates jockeys on a race-by-race basis.

Oregon New Venture Championship
University of Oregon (Portland), April 3-5, 2014

TheraBracelet team at Oregon ChampionshipThe NVC is considered the premier business competition in the Pacific Northwest.  Sixteen teams from the best MBA programs worldwide, including US, Hong Kong, India and Thailand, will compete in Portland.  Our MBA team, TheraBracelet (Matthew Raggard, Kacie Neutz, Leah Enders and Nick Phelps and Faculty Coach Professor Van Clouse) did an excellent job at the 2014 Oregon New Venture Championship. They advanced to the four team finals and finished as runner-up, taking home $2,500. Congratulations to our team – great job!  The KGW news station did a story about the event and talked to a few of the 16 teams from around the world attending:–253845121.html

Nebraska Innovation Competition
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, March 19 & 20, 2014

SmartLanes Technologies in Nebraska CompetitionThe University of Nebraska-Lincoln Global New Venture Competition provides university students from all over the world the opportunity to compete in a business planning competition and get feedback and funding.  Our UofL MBA team, SmartLanes Technologies was one of 12 MBA teams invited to compete in Lincoln, Nebraska, along with an additional 12 undergraduate teams. The 24 total teams at the competition included Johns Hopkins, Kennesaw State, University of Texas, Austin, Arkansas, UT  Houston, Vancouver, and others.  Team Coach Professor Suzanne Bergmeister, who accompanied the team, remarked, “It was a very tough competition, and SmartLanes made the best presentation I’ve ever seen them make.  The judges had a hard time deciding, and gave them some great feedback.”  The team that beat SmartLanes in their track went on to win the overall competition.

Stu Clark Investment Competition
University of Manitoba, Canada, March 14-15, 2014

Systemica Health at Stu Clark Investment CompetitionSixteen grad student teams competed for a $20,000 grand prize in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada at the Stu Clark Investment Competition including two UofL teams, Appro Therapeutics and Systemica Health.  Systemica went on to win the Idea Pitch ($1,000) and placed third in the finals ($5,000) at the Stu Clark Investment Competition. Read more.

Cardinal Challenge Business Plan Competition
University of Louisville, Marriott Louisville Downtown, Feb. 14-15, 2014

Appro Therapeutics at Cardinal ChallengeThe competition was fierce in snowy Louisville, KY and the distinguished judges had a difficult job in selecting the top four teams from Round 1 to move to the finals.  NanDio, from the University of Notre Dame won first-place team in the Business Plan Presentation Competition and receives $15,000, an invitation to the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition, and the lucrative “Launch in Louisville” Package.  Our UofL team, Appro Therapeutics (pictured) received a first place win in the Fast Pitch Competition.  Read more.

Georgia Bowl Business Plan Competition
Kennesaw State University, Georgia, February 7-8, 2014

TheraBracelet at 2014 Goergia BowlThe Georgia Bowl is one of the state’s largest and one of the country’s oldest intercollegiate competitions for entrepreneurs.  Two UofL College of Business Entrepreneurship MBA teams competed – SmartLanes Technologies and TheraBracelet.  TheraBracelet brought home a first place win and received an automatic invitation to compete in the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition.  SmartLanes Technologies, who presented to Bluegrass Angles last month and won a $25,000 investment, placed fifth.  Read full news story.

IBK Capital – Ivey Business Plan Competition
Ontario, Canada, January 25-26, 2014

Top graduate schools across North America competed for a $20,000 grand prize and automatic entry to the Global Venure Labs Investment Competition in Texas at the Ivey Business Plan Competition in Ontario.  Three of our UofL Entrepreneurship teams, SmartLanes, Systemica, and TheraBracelet were among the teams selected to compete. TheraBracelet advanced to the finals, and although our teams didn’t collect the first prize winnings, Professor Clouse reported that all our teams did an outstanding job in the competition.

Student Venture Open
UC SanDiego, October 22-23, 2013

UofL teams at Student Venture OpenSystemica Health, introducing PlaqAway won 1st place ($1,500) and an invitation to the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition.  TheraBracelet won 2nd place ($500) and Elevator Pitch ($500).  Only seven teams were invited to compete and two were from UofL.  News Story.

Ballard Morton New Venture Competition
University of Louisville, Louisville, October 11-12, 2013

UofL teams - Ballard MortonThis annual business plan competition features teams of UofL MBA students competing for start-up capital for their innovative business concepts. First place was Trifecta Cooking Equipment and Best Business Plan, Second place – Appro Therapeutics, and third place – TheraBracelet and Best Trade Show and Best Fast Pitch.  Click for result photos and news story.

2014 Competition Teams

2014 UofL Competition Teams

Appro Therapeutics
Christopher Barton, Melissa Buddeke, Jordan Davis, Will Morris, Divya Jagadish

Appro Therapeutics presents Asserta-B, a novel cancer therapeutic, along with a biomarker to predict patient response, with demonstrated effectiveness in destroying SOX9-overexpressing cancer cells. SOX9 is overexpressed in up to 50% of colon, lung, prostate, and breast cancers, as well as 12-25% of all cancer types. Our patented therapeutic, with its unique mechanism of action and companion biomarker, could provide treatment for a significant portion of the 12.5 million individuals diagnosed with cancer each year. Setting sight on a substantial sector of this $22 billion dollar market, Appro Therapeutics strives to provide individualized treatment and transformational results.

Adam Casson, Will Coburn, Maggie Galloway, Dr. Mary Nan Mallory, Chris Shelton

CypressMD is comprised of five MBA students at UofL, one of whom is Dr. Mary Nan Mallory, emergency medicine professor and co-inventor of an innovative anesthesia technology that saves time, decreases hospital costs, improves patient safety, and is competitive in the $530 million laryngoscope blade market.  Even in the best of hands, intubation (the insertion of a breathing tube) can quickly become a life-or-death situation, particularly when clearing airway fluids causes dangerous delays.

Jockey Analytics (undergrad)
Liam Benson, Mike Crabtree, Ryan Chadwick, Steph Franklin, Paul Mosley, Corey Severson, Nick Stoller, Samantha Weinnman, Aaron Wilson

Our Jockey Rating system is one of a kind. With the use of our proprietary algorithm, our application is able to compile a large amount of information on a jockey’s past performance. With the invaluable assistance of our partners, Equibase and Trackus, we are able to place a powerful handicapping tool in your hands at a fraction of the cost of buying race forms each day. Our product will allow the user to select a jockey, and be given an easy to read number out of 150 that gauges the jockey’s ability to perform given recent race history.

PocketParkU (undergrad)
Logan Baumann, Christian Betz, Max Gerdes, Erica Ladden, Alex Prestigiacomo

Our business was created to help bring ease and a stress free parking experience to students, faculty, and staff at universities across the nation!  The principles of our business have remained steadfast through the years–fast and accurate parking information to relieve all university parking issues.  We aim to decrease the time it takes students, faculty, and staff to find parking at universities, decreasing the stress involved with parking efforts.

SmartLanes Technologies
Stephen Haden, Jessica Hamilton, Ben Khalifa

SmartLanes Technologies is a data company created to pursue opportunities in the field of business intelligence. We have developed a ground-breaking, patent-pending technology that provides customers in the retail industry access to dynamic, timely and accurate consumer demographic information. This data is collected without requiring access to private information, a customer opt-in, or purchase data. Led by a team with extensive experience in data collection and analysis, SmartLanes is poised to enter the market with a unique offering that will revolutionize how retailers understand their customers. Smart money invests in SmartLanes!

Systemica Health
Justin Breitenstein, Hunter Gerlach, Shalin Shah

Systemica Health introduces PlaqAway, a dentist-applied varnish, which contains a patent-pending peptide technology used to fight periodontal disease. With 95% of American adults suffering from periodontal disease throughout their lifetime, PlaqAway is the only product that specifically targets, prevents, and eliminates the most harmful disease-causing oral bacteria. Many studies show strong correlations between oral and systemic diseases. Therefore, by reducing the need for advanced periodontal treatments and related medical costs, PlaqAway will save consumers over $4.9B annually. Systemica Health recognizes that good oral care leads to good health care and that good oral care begins with PlaqAway.

Leah Enders, Kacie Neutz, Nick Phelps, Matthew Raggard

TheraBracelet is an all-in-one, battery powered wrist band device that acts to instantaneously increase sensitivity, movement, reaction time, and general motor skills in the hands. The device has the power to revolutionize modern treatment methods by helping patients suffering from a wide range of neuropathic disorders – including stroke, diabetic neuropathy, and the majority of aging populations. TheraBracelet is designed not only to work in conjunction with physical therapy, but also increase quality of life through home use. This noninvasive, over the counter product can be worn for assistance completing everyday activities by offering quantitative improvements and immediate results.

Trifecta Cooking Equipment
Ryan Cash, Bridget Kueber, Matt Long, Brittany Moneymaker, Wyatt Taylor

Trifecta Cooking Equipment’s patented NEXT PRO FRYER will help restaurant operators save 67% on annual cooking oil costs. Casual dining restaurants spend more than $3 Billion annually on cooking oil, and operators are eager to minimize operational costs without sacrificing food quality. Using a patented design to efficiently heat the oil externally, Trifecta’s NEXT PRO FRYER significantly mitigates the primary cause of oil degradation, extending oil life while increasing energy efficiency and labor productivity. With a breakthrough technology and a leadership team with extensive professional experience, Trifecta Cooking Equipment is the Future of Frying.

Team Coaches:

Professors Van Clouse, Sharon Kerrick, and Suzanne Bergmeister

College of Business

University of Louisville
College of Business
Harry Frazier Hall
110 W. Brandeis Ave.
Louisville, KY 40292
Phone: (502) 852-6440
Fax: (502) 852-7557

Earned Excellence

The Best Business Schools
in the World
The Best Accounting Programs
in the World

Online Access

Business First online edition is available to all university students, faculty and staff. View Online Edition.