‘Bear Down and Pitch’ competition at Scottsdale Museum of the West

In just five minutes, an innovative concept for a new business venture could flourish with support from some of Arizona’s most successful entrepreneurs.

That’s the hope of seven student teams from the University of Arizona McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. They are to pitch their new ventures to Entrepreneurs’ Organization Arizona member judges during the “Bear Down and Pitch” competition on Thursday, April 19. The event, which is open to the public, takes place from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Scottsdale Museum of the West, 3830 N. Marshall Way, in Scottsdale.

The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship is part of the Eller College of Management. Throughout the year, more than 80 students receive experiential education that engages them in the process of moving innovation from an early-stage idea to a sustainable launch-ready venture. The cohort-based immersive program is open to UA undergraduate and graduate students from all fields of study, according to a release.

The inaugural “Bear Down and Pitch” competition celebrates the conclusion of McGuire Center’s spring semester partnership with EO Arizona. Over the past few months, EO members traveled to Tucson and shared their expert insights with McGuire students.

“EO Arizona’s support of McGuire students and faculty has been unparalleled,” Eller College Dean Paulo Goes said in the release.

“As a global network of entrepreneurs, EO focuses on peer-to-peer learning, leadership development and professional advancement opportunities. Their exclusive membership consists of entrepreneurs making $1 million or more in annual revenue. It’s a remarkable opportunity for McGuire students to engage with such a notable group of thought leaders,” Dean Goes said.

Christie Kerner, director of venture development at StartupAZ Foundation, will serve as the event’s emcee and moderator.

The seven McGuire Center student teams competing include: Ecocrete, Sunshine Foods, Kratr, Blare, Nani, Prova Technologies and Algoe Chemicals. With just five minutes to pitch their new venture concept, each team will be judged on the sustainability of their ventures.

The judges of the competition include members of the Phoenix startup community such as from EO Arizona, StartUpAZ Foundation, Invest Southwest and others, according to the release.

Competing teams

Competing teams include the following, according to the release:

  • Ecocrete manufactures and sells construction materials made of recycled byproducts that area safe, cost-effective and eco-friendly.
  • Sunshine Foods is an allergy-safe production and food delivery service for elementary, middle school and high school students. The company offers nutritious meals that cater to the eight major food allergies – gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and eggs.
  • Kratr develops a mobile/web app that connects community owners with their residents and drives increased event attendance.
  • Blare is a technology-enabled wearable that can discreetly alert trusted contacts and law enforcement of a user’s location in a dangerous situation. It is a potential solution to the increasing rate of sexual assault surrounding women on college campuses.
  • Nani is a wearable tracking device available for rent at busy destinations, such as amusement parks, to ensure families stay together.
  • Prova Technologies is a company that uses biomedical technology to rapidly test cannabis for quality and potency.
  • Algoe Chemicals opens the door of innovation for scientists by providing them with a strong reducing agent. It has two variations, allowing for control and selectivity in the hands of the user. It is rechargeable, has a 15-year shelf life and allows for high-energy reactions to occur in a table environment.

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