Six UNLV student groups are finalists and will compete this week in the Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition, a statewide contest designed to encourage students to create tomorrow's businesses.
The UNLV teams are among 12 selected to compete for the Governor's Cup. Nearly 40 teams from 10 Nevada public and private colleges and universities competed in the contest this year.
The winners will be announced April 16 in Reno. The first, second and third place winners in both the graduate and undergraduate categories will receive $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000, respectively. First and second place winners will go on to compete in the tri-state awards in May and have a chance to win a share of $118,000. Students in the competition also gain access to some of Nevada's most successful entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders.
UNLV Graduate Finalists
MilkBaby Bikini is a swimsuit company looking to bring its custom designs, which have been featured in Sports Illustrated, to the masses. Team members are UNLV students Paul Dimond, Catherine Thordarson, Huzaifa Mahesri, Robert Opacki and Andrew Coates.
Mov?oMedics is a research and development company specializing in the design and sale of diagnostic software and wearable medical devices. Their flagship product is SmartOrtho Detect, a shoe insole designed to diagnose the earliest stages of diabetic complications that can lead to open foot wounds and amputation in the most severe cases. The company is a collaboration among UNLV allied health sciences professor Janet Dufek, engineering associate dean Mohamed Trabia and UNLV students John Landrith, Christine Nolan, James Lutz, Erin Schroeder and Peter Puglisi.
Neon Nest is a company that develops "tiny houses" with an emphasis on outdoor activities and experiences. Team members include UNLV students Atilio Solimano, Kegan McMullan, Shazzy-Lynn Philavanh, Jessica Vander Ploeg and Salma Ettefagh.
ParkingJungle is a parking system designed to streamline the parking process for drivers and provide real-time data for parking managers. The company's software helps users find and check in to parking spots. Team members are UNLV students Catherine Reid, Kurt Temple, Tracy Sperry, Ariel Rosen and Elizabeth Ashley Nichols.
All four graduate teams are advised by Angela Douglas, an entrepreneurship instructor in the UNLV Lee Business School's MBA program.
UNLV Undergraduate Finalists
The IDP (Indoor Dog Park) is designed to provide a safe, clean and climate-controlled environment for dogs and their owners to exercise and socialize. The concept includes doggie daycare, luxury boarding suites, self-wash stations and a professional groomer. Team leader is Daniel Morelli. The team is advised by Hans Rawhouser, a UNLV management professor.
Lt. Governor's Team
Stream Punk is an audio book streaming service geared toward independent authors in the sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres. Team leader is Matthew McCrickard. The team is advised by Janet Runge, associate director of UNLV's Center for Entrepreneurship and Global Entrepreneurship Experience coordinator.
The Lt. Governor's category rewards business plans that employ clean, renewable or efficient energy technologies and services. The Lt. Governor's Cup carries a $10,000 cash prize.