Business Design Showcase

Business Design Showcase 2017 First Place: Aether with Hannah Meyers, Chase Armer, Pavle Jeremic, and CIED sponsor Kamil Hasan and CIED director Sue Carter

The 5th annual Business Design Showcase on April 18, 2017, at the UC Santa Cruz Silicon Valley Campus featured 13 student-led businesses, ranging widely in product and service types. Our entrepreneurial judges—Brandon Allgood (CTO and cofounder, Numerate, Inc., and UCSC trustee), Satish Gupta (executive chairman, SenSen Networks), Louise Kirkbride (CalTech trustee, prior executive at several companies), Derek Proudian (owner, Papa Kona Coffee, and member and chairman of boards at several companies), and Heather Putnam (executive director, Santa Cruz Works)—heard the pitches in the afternoon and determined first, second, and third place. The guests in attendance at the open-forum showcase in the evening visited the students’ business tables to hear pitches and check out product and service prototypes while enjoying a reception of appetizers and wine. The guests voted for the people’s choice online at the end of the showcase forum.

The winners are:

First Place, $4000: Aether by Chase Armer, Pavle Jeremic, and Hannah Meyers
Aether lowers manufacturing costs and accelerates pharmaceutical development by combining Organism Design Software with high-throughput, robotic automation to engineer microorganisms for pharmaceutical production.

Second Place, $3000: CruzAI by Ali Adabi
CruzAI uses an intelligent Internet of Things (IoT) system to provide businesses with information about building equipment and services to save energy.

Third Place, $2000: Cruz Foam by John Felts, Xiaolin Zhang, and Daniel Hutchins
Cruz Foam transforms shrimp shells into surfboards to shape the future of sustainable surfing.

People’s Choice, $1000: Booze Crate by Raul Lara and Matthew Herbert
Booze Crate’s niche in Santa Cruz serves both microbrewery fans and those who prefer monthly subscription delivery service. Booze Crate will provide affordable home delivery of microbrews in Santa Cruz, partnering with existing area microbreweries.

Honorable Mentions, $500 each:

Midinote by Jesse Villegas, Isaac Davidove, Thooba Samimi, and Malcolm Flint
Midinote allows music producers to seamlessly edit, create tracks, and sync projects in real time with their friends through a cloud-based, online, Digital Audio Workstation. Think Google Drive meets Ableton.

MsgFly by Spencer Butterfield, Julian Fletcher-Taylor, and Devon Katz
An analytics integrated chat platform, MsgFly lets developers integrate real-time messaging into their app, website, game, or embedded device using a variety of open-source SDKs—just a few lines of code. MsgFly helps developers optimize sales and marketing efforts by aggregating and analyzing user interaction, providing key insights about customers from data that would ordinarily be ignored.

Realtime by Novateur, Inc., by Vernon Coleman and Kevin Robertson
Novateur’s mission is to connect people through experiences. Our flagship product is Realtime, an app that connects college students with groups, events, and other people based on their interests. Realtime is the most personal way to connect.

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development congratulates the winners and all participants in the competition! CIED also thanks our generous sponsors, Kamil and Talat Hasan and the Division of Graduate Studies; our judges; Chancellor Blumenthal for his ongoing support; our keynote speaker Keri Waters, who gave a most inspiring address on how to be and what to expect as an entrepreneur; Diana Hogue of University RelationsPeter Minogue of the Silicon Valley Campus; our student intern videographer, José Reyes; our photographer, Danny Quijano; and the guests in attendance.

Check out the 2016 Business Design Showcase in the archives and a video of the event on CIED's YouTube channel.
Check out the 2015 Business Design Showcase in the archives and a video of the event on CIED's YouTube channel.