Months of work by Georgetown’s most entrepreneurial students culminated in the 2012 Hoya Challenge business pitch competition finals on Saturday, April 21. Sixteen semifinalist teams, which had advanced from a 48-team preliminary round in March, pitched their business ideas to judging panels of entrepreneurs and investors.
The Commercial Track champion was Bookend Technology, led by Todd Cofer (SCS ‘12). Bookend creates products to enrich and empower lives through adaptive education. The runner-up was Access the Outdoors, an online guide to help hunting and fishing enthusiasts, led by Kyle Miller (B ‘12).
The Social Track champion was CrowdHall, an online application designed to allow users to follow people, companies, and organizations of interest in a unique and impactful way. The company is led by Jordan Menzel (MSFS ’12). The runner up in the Social Track was Encore, a donor dashboard that emphasizes impact experience and community engagement, led by James Li (B’13) and Michael Hauser (B’13).
The People’s Choice Award, voted on by the audience, went to Ubicard, a GPS device to help people keep track of their wallet. Ubicard founder Kevin Hubschmann (B ’13) also won the People’s Choice Award at the Hoya Challenge Rocket Pitch Competition in January 2012.
The judging panel said they were impressed by the quality of ideas and presentations. They offered advice and mentoring to participants after the competition, helping them to focus their entrepreneurial drive. Judges included Robert Egger (Founder of DC Central Kitchen), Marley Majcher (Founder of The Party Goddess and published author), Devon George (Founder of DMV Capital Corp.), Dan Berger (Founder of Social Tables), and Rick Cutrera (American Airlines Business Development Executive).
The top teams were awarded cash prizes totaling $20,500. Additional prizes included American Airlines tickets, Altum Design web development services, Nationals Baseball tickets, Wolftrap concert tickets, and invitations to enter the Georgetown Summer Startup Program.
Even though only four teams could be selected as finalists, everyone who attended the event—participants, judges, and audience members—walked away with a prize. All those present at the event were given a 10 percent discount on an American Airlines flight.
The Hoya Challenge team is proud to announce this year’s winners:
Commercial Track Winner ($5,000): Bookend Technology (Todd Cofer, SCS ‘12)
Commercial Track Runner-Up ($2,000): Access the Outdoors (Kyle Miller, B ‘12)
Social Track Winner ($5,000): CrowdHall (Jordan Menzel, MSFS ‘12)
Social Track Runner-Up ($2,000): Encore (James Li, MSB’13; Michael Hauser, B ‘13)
Altum Web Design Web Development Services ($6,000 value): Bookend Technology (Todd Cofer, SCS ‘12)
People’s Choice ($500, American Airlines Tickets): Ubicard (Kevin Hubschmann, B’13)
All semifinalist teams: $500 each
-- Erin Kay Cawley B '13