Baylor’s New Venture Competition awards student entrepreneurs

April 16, 2015

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Student teams take home more than $130,000 in cash and prizes

WACO, Texas (April 16, 2015) — The Baylor New Venture Competition, hosted by the department of entrepreneurship in Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, awarded more than $130,000 in cash and prizes to student teams pitching original business plans.

The two-day, multi-staged business competition brought 12 teams of students from 10 universities to Baylor to participate in pitch competitions. More than 45 judges – industry professionals, entrepreneurship faculty, angel investors, etc. – were on hand throughout the process to provide feedback and criticism to the teams. The featured categories of companies for this year’s competition were consumer and Internet technology companies and non-technology, said Wes Nemec, program manager at Baylor University’s John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship in the Hankamer School of Business.

The winning team of entrepreneurs was Wheel Shields from University of Maryland. The company makes and sells longboard wheel covers, which improve rider safety, longboard longevity and other benefits.

“The company has experienced early success and is already generating revenue,” Nemec said.

Second-place honors went to Zeolytic from University of Houston. Plasma Bionics LLC from Oklahoma State University placed third.

Teams from the University of Utah, Baruch College, University of Oklahoma, University of Pennsylvania, University of Arkansas, University of Virginia and Texas Christian University also competed.

“This year, we offered one of the biggest prize packages since the creation of the competition,” Nemec said. “Each applicant gets feedback on ideas. We hit them at every single stage of the competition with feedback, advice, critiquing, coaching and mentorship.”

The competition originally was formed to provide an opportunity for Baylor students, but it went national once the entrepreneurial program saw its success.

“Baylor wanted an outlet for students to be able to advance their entrepreneurial ideas outside of the classroom,” Nemec said. “The heart of the competition is the educational aspect.”

For more information, please visit New Venture Competition’s website.

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business provides a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Recognized nationally for several programs, including Entrepreneurship and Accounting, the school offers 24 undergraduate and 13 graduate areas of study. Visit and follow on Twitter at