Monday, October 25, 2021

Future Scope, a hands-on career guidance program, won first place and $1,000 at the Startup Games pitch competition Oct. 24 at Hilton Garden Inn in Iowa City, Iowa.

The quintet includes senior Mitchell Baumgartner, sophomores Drew Miner, Jacob Ronin, and Colby Whitaker, and freshman Connor Baggot.

Out of 42 students who started Oct. 22, 30 ideas were pitched before seven teams formed to develop seven potential business opportunities. At final pitches Sunday, 35 students remained. A total of $2,750 in prize money was awarded.

Finishing second and receiving $750 was What’s the Move?, an application that centralizes University of Iowa-affiliated and student-led events into one platform. That team consisted of five sophomores: Luke Farmer, Michael Zolna, Olek Gralczyk, Grace Lange, and Tanner Pekny.

Placing third and receiving $500 was WeSolve, a problem-based job searching application. Comprising WeSolve were seniors Tim Evans and Olivia Warren, and sophomore Camila Espinoza.

Flurbish, an online, pre-owned furniture store that offers delivery and pickup services to students, came away with $500, winning the Start Tomorrow Award ($250) and People’s Choice ($250). Team members were seniors Marilyn Lo and Brittany Sires, and juniors Michael Headington and Baaba Saisie.

The students planned for their businesses Friday, spent Saturday assigning roles, doing research, customer discovery, and meeting with any of the 10 business coaches on hand to assist. By Sunday morning, teams had a four-minute pitch in place with slides and other visuals. These students represented more than 20 different academic majors, making this competition an invaluable experience for team building, discipline, and innovation. Teams pitched live in front of three judges.   

A second Startup Games will be held in Spring 2022.

Startup Games Winners
First  Future Scope $1,000
Second  What’s the Move?  $750           
Third  WeSolve $500
Start Tomorrow Award  Flurbish $250
People’s Choice Flurbish  $250