College student entrepreneurs win Something in the Water pitch competition
Severe weather forced the cancelation of musical performances at Pharrell Williams’ Something in the Water Festival on Friday, but it didn’t dampen a business pitch competition organized by the festival, Old Dominion University and Cox Communications.
As part of the SPLASH! pitch competition, college student entrepreneurs pitched their ideas at the Virginia Beach Convention Center to a panel of celebrity judges. The judges included producer and rapper Timbaland; Bruce Smith, a Virginia Beach-based developer and NFL Hall of Famer and Nneka Chiazor, regional vice president of government and public affairs at Cox Communications.
Congratulations to the Winners! ������
Best Female Founder- Pocket Protector
Biggest Social Impact Award- BRISE-SOLETTE
Boldest Emerging Technology Award- finX#somethinginthewater #splash #MoreThanTheMusic #ODU #COX
— Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at ODU (@ODU_IIE) April 27, 2019
Six teams from James Madison, ODU, Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Wesleyan universities each had five minutes to present to the judges followed by a five-minute question and answer session.
The three winning teams were from VCU and VWU. They each won $2,500 for their startups.
VCU’s Kayla Burkholder and Karli Vogt won the female founder award for Pocket Protector. The startup’s device is designed to prevent pocket hematomas, or the buildup of blood, after pacemaker implantation.
Aniket Kulkarni and Chandana Muktipaty presented for Brise-Solette, which earned the social impact award. The product, developed by VCU students, allows the light in incubators to be controlled. This helps improve the cognitive, optical and physical development of premature babies.
Alex Vawter, a student at Virginia Beach-based VWU, won in the boldest emerging technology application category for FinX Mobile. The startup FinX is developing a mobile application to teach people how to invest in financial markets.
Something in the Water music festival was spearheaded by Pharrell Williams, an award-winning musician from Virginia Beach. The festival was scheduled to run from April 26-28 but severe storms forced the cancelation of performances on the first day. Shows were scheduled to go on for the rest of the weekend. The festival said on Twitter that it would refund a portion of tickets due to the cancellation on Friday.