Investors and executives from Admiral Capital/Blueprint Local, DraperU Ventures, Stratfund Services, and Viva Air Labs will judge student startups at SXSW event. Emcee of the event will be Kori Hale, founder and CEO of CultureBanx.

Tuesday, February 19. 2019 – The judging panel is set for the Student Startup Madness (SSM) “Entrepreneurial Eight” finals to be held on Monday, March 11, from 3:30pm – 6pm CST at South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in the Hilton Hotel (Salon D) in downtown Austin, TX.

The event will be led and emceed by Kori Hale (@korihale), Founder and CEO of CultureBanx.

The judging panel includes:

  • David Robinson, Jr. – Social Impact at Admiral Capital, CoFounder at Blueprint Local; @dmr2344
    David joined Admiral Capital Group to build on its mission to make a strong social impact in the cities where the firm invests.  Admiral Capital takes 10% of profits and utilizes investments to create opportunities to support communities. For example, Admiral Capital Group purchased a Hilton Hotel in Houston, TX and created the Admiral Hospital scholars program in partnership with Hilton, University of Houston and local school districts. The program provides internships and college scholarships for high school students in Houston interested in hospitality. Moving forward, David’s goal is to expand Admiral’s platform to making direct impact investments as well as scaling the philanthropic work.
  • Sarah Beth Lardie- Principal/Fundraising Consultant, StratFund Services
    Serial entrepreneur & perpetual do-gooder. Sarah Beth Lardie launched a social entrepreneurship fund that supported the work of 16 unique ventures across the United States, then used that experience to mentor and support the creation of local incubators in South Africa, Rwanda, Uganda, and the EU. She operates her own company, StratFundServices, to provide fundraising & organizational development consulting to organizations doing something that means something.
  • Clyde Hutchinson- Head of Innovation,  Viva Air Labs; @clydehut
    Clyde has over 20 years’ experience in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. He has lead an external innovation program in the area of aviation, aerospace & travel tech on behalf of investors like Boeing, Datalex, the Irish Aviation Authority and Enterprise Ireland. He has developed internal innovation programs for organisation as varied as a leading aviation leasing organisation through to a national healthcare system. Prior to this Clyde worked with some of the world’s’ leading universities, including Cambridge University, the University of Tokyo and Imperial College.
  • Katie Russel – Head of Business Development, Draper University; @KatieRussel
    Katie is currently Head of Business Development at Draper University and an investor with DraperU Ventures. Russel is highly experienced in social media marketing, public relations, and business scaling.  After earning her BA from the University of Colorado Boulder, Katie has spent the past 9 years working to boost business development for companies in Fintech, Social Networking, and Education.

“The judging panel this year will be a tough test for the entrepreneurs pitching. Every one of them is a veteran  investor and an expert in their individual fields. If our Final 8 doesn’t rise to the challenge and know their business inside and out, the judges won’t miss that.” says Sean Branagan, creator of SSM and director of the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

About the Emcee

Kori Hale is the CEO and Co-Founder of CultureBanx, a digital news platform redefining business and tech news for minorities. Her online platform delivers high quality content focused on market-driven stories, innovative products and services that culture leads the way in transforming.

About the Finals

Student Startup Madness (SSM) is the only nationwide collegiate tournament focused on digital media startups. It affords college student startups the opportunity to compete against fellow student entrepreneurs, grab the attention of potential investors and supporters, and build an elite professional network. The SSM finals event will be held in the SXSW Interactive main venue: in the downtown Hilton Austin. The judging panel will review the Entrepreneurial Eight teams after they pitch at the event.

Student Startup Madness (Session 1 and Session 2) will be held from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm. Student teams from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Chicago, Yale University, Cuyahoga Community College, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Notre Dame, Seton Hall University, Michigan State University, Cornell University, and Tufts University  will compete on stage.

The top vote-getter as determined by the judges will be named the Student Startup Madness 2018-19 National Champion and will be awarded the SSM Trophy.

About the Finalists (in alphabetical order)

Clean ‘Em organizes your cleaning service needs in one place. Founded by Juan Carlos Merlo, from the University  of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business, Clean ‘Em was built to simplify the servicing of rentals, private properties, business locations, and anywhere else that needs to look spotless.

Homecooked is a social dining platform that lets you eat home cooked meals made by people in your neighborhood in groups of 6 to 8. Hojung Kim, University of Chicago; Kevin Zhen, Yale University; and Eric Duong, Yale University founded Homecooked in 2018 to replace digital isolation with human connection through food.

Parents in Motion was founded by Charisma Curry and Chanel Williams, while students at Cuyahoga Community College and Case Western Reserve University, respectively. Curry and Williams’ Parents in Motion helps parents get their kids where they need to be by leveraging a community-based rideshare system.

Resonado is redefining the shape of sound with its patented speaker technology which makes speakers thinner, lighter, more efficient, and sound better. The company was found by Brian Cho and his cofounders from the University of Notre Dame. Brian is a senior studying finance and applied mathematics.

Sincere Sitter, founded by Alissa Lopez, a MBA student at Seton Hall University, is set to launch this Summer. Sincere Sitter pairs parents and babysitters together based on a matching algorithm using input data from the users, reviewers, and training programs.

Suna Breakfast was founded at Cornell University by Pedro Bobow and Christophe Gerlach, Suna Breakfast is a breakfast delivery service to make sure students to have time to eat the most important meal. Suna Breakfast connects college diners with surplus dining hall food in 10-minute intervals.

SKOOP is a pedicab company that helps the environment, your wallet, and the community. Josh Cooper, from the Michigan State University, founded SKOOP to move people while providing local business with an aesthetic, micro-mobility-based advertising strategy.

Worksense was founded by Timi Dayo-kayode, from Tufts University, to monitor public internal communication within organizations to deliver insights regarding employee engagement.