April 28, 2016
A record 34 teams participated in the Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation’s annual $100K Challenge Venture Competition, held on the University of Portland campus on Saturday, April 23.
The competition provides students with the opportunity to receive feedback from experts in the entrepreneurial community, win monetary prizes, and acquire legal, accounting, and other services that will help advance an idea to the next stage in the entrepreneurial process. Students competed in one of two areas, For Profit Venture or Social Enterprise.
1st Place: Sentri Performance – Michael Williamson
The company has developed an innovative outdoor hoodie, reimagined for snowboarding and other outdoor pursuits. For more information on the winning project, visit Michael Williamson’s Kickstarter site at
2nd Place: Doda Aroma Miracle Patches – David Govshtein.
Govshtein developed aromatherapy patches for homeopathic healing.
3rd Place: Benefit Biscuits – Chris Jordan.
These handcrafted dog biscuits, containing natural ingredients for dog family members, are already in production. More information is available at https://www.benefit-biscuits.com.
The winner in the Social Enterprise category was Pro Social by Spencer Fovell and Ashley Lund. Pro Social is focused on connecting non-profits with potential volunteers via social media. It is a more interactive approach than existing, more static services like HandsOn Portland or VolunteerMatch.
Prizes included $1,250 for 1st place (for-profit & social enterprise); $750 for 2nd place (for-profit) and $250 for 3rd place (for-profit). Sponsors include VTM Group, Allion Test Labs, Schwabe Williamson and Wyatt, AARP, Foundation, Portland Business Journal, and the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN).
The University of Portland Launchpad Fund helps support the Competition and also offers seed funding and incubation opportunities for student ventures. Funded by generous alumni, led by Rich Baek ’93 MSEE ’02 MBA and supported by many others, the fund encourages students of all majors to innovate, develop and launch their ideas.
To qualify for the $100K Challenge Venture Competition, teams must include University of Portland student(s) as an integral and fully participating member of the team. Students may be in any undergraduate or graduate program, and any major is welcome and encouraged to participate. Business plans must be an original work describing a new venture, either for-profit or non-profit.
“The $100K Challenge is a fantastic opportunity to develop and present a plan for a new business and meet many interesting and experienced entrepreneurs, investors and other professionals who may be helpful to students in pursuing their entrepreneurial or career ambitions,” said Peter Rachor, director for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the University’s Franz Center. “All participants are provided support in developing their plan and presentation through workshops and mentors, and receive great feedback from experienced judges.
“This is a great way to “crash test” a plan for a students who are considering launching a new product, business or organization, and improves their chances of success or fundraising. Even if they are not actually planning to launch their venture at the time of the competition, this is a great opportunity to learn the process of creating, presenting and updating a high quality business plan.”
For more information contact Peter Rachor, Franz Center, at (503) 943-7769 or firstname.lastname@example.org.