MBA Students Pitch at Oregon Entrepreneurs Network PitchFest

Author: AnnaRose Adams
Posted: February 17, 2016

On January 20th, two teams of first year MBA students competed in the first round of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) Early Stage Startup Fund. The teams were formed in fall term of 2015 in Charla Mathwick’s Pioneering Innovation course where the focus of the course was to develop a business concept to meet a real market need. At the end of course, teams “pitched” their ideas and the most viable concepts were offered the chance to pitch for OEN seed funding. Teams Bülzi and Fütprintz were selected.

I created Bülzi with Justin Chi, Daphna Kadim, and Anthony Palmer. We developed the concept from addressing the problem that there is noway to measure blood sodium levels in real-time, which has implications for both the medical and athletic communities. Bülzi is a sweat monitoring device that was designed for endurance athletes. Through using sweat as a proxy for blood sodium levels Bülzi measures, analyzes, and interprets sweat reading to provide a color-coded recommendation to users for next steps. For example, if a user’s sodium reading was out of normal range, the device would light up yellow, indicating the user needs to consume salt.

Fütprintz was created by my classmates, Madeline Barbera, Thomas Arm, Jake Broderick, and Ivan Jakobsson. They found that many parents are concerned about what their child is exposed to online, as well as their child’s awareness of how their interactions are cataloged on the internet, but parents lack a consolidated resource and tool to meet these needs. Fütprintz is a software program that addresses this unmet need for internet footprint education and security in children. With an adorable armadillo mascot that is desktop interactive, Fütprintz algorithms monitor computer behavior and present warnings to children through the armadillo.

On January 20th, our two teams competed against over 30 startup companies in the community at OEN’s Pitchfest Pubtalk. Each team was given one minute to present key aspects of their concepts before a panel of judges. These presentations, combined with their applications, will be used to evaluate teams that will be selected to move on in the competition. Madeline Barbera of Fütprintz and Anthony Palmer of Bülzi were the speaking representatives for their teams.

Choosing what content to include into a one-minute pitch is an art form. Anthony did a great job delivering our concept. We thankfully had some help from Joe Munk at the PSU Business Accelerator to help guide our choice of content and delivery.

Decisions for the next round will not be announced until late February, or early March. Both Bülzi and Fütprintz are not nervous about what lies ahead for them.

Anthony Palmer summed it up well,

“We gave it our best, but whether we move on or are cut, we are ultimately here to learn. This was a great opportunity to get exposed to the startup community.”

I thoroughly agree and enjoyed the opportunity to get our idea out there. OEN does a great job of creating a welcoming space to pitch ideas.

Learn more about Entrepreneurship at Portland State.

AnnaRose Adams is an MBA student looking to propel herself into a career in fishery & agriculture supply chain management. You can connect with AnnaRose through LinkedIn.