Blog: Six Groups Compete in Tight January Firestarter Pitch Competition

On January 26th, six groups took part in this month’s FireStarter pitch competition. With representation from Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine, School of Engineering, Owen Graduate School of Management, and undergraduate programs, several students presented a diverse collection of business concepts and ideas. Groups shared a quick introduction of their team, the problem they aimed to solve, and how their business model provided a solution. In a virtual setting, groups presented their business concepts, including… 

Mighty Blendz: Presented by Kayla Vine

Mighty Blendz are meal replacement instant smoothies for busy people on the go, complete with leafy greens, collagen protein, prebiotic fiber, and healthy fats. Kalya Vine recognized that most current smoothie alternatives are loaded with unhealthy sugars and carbohydrates and lack healthy fats and nutrient-dense ingredients to fuel your brain & body. Packed with micronutrients, amino acids, and sustainable protein, Mighty Blendz offers a healthy smoothie alternative designed to balance blood sugar, fuel your on-the-go activities, and sustain your busy days.

CashChain: Presented by Ricky LaChance

CashChain strives to put money in the pockets of people who need it most by offering a blockchain-based remittance-focused financial service that will target users who send money internationally. In 2021, officially recorded remittance payments to low and middle-income countries reached $589 billion. The business strives to deliver billions of dollars worth of funds in a cheaper, faster, and familiar way across the globe. CashChain will be both online and offline through ATM-like terminals located within partner locations, i.e., 7-Eleven, Kroger, etc.

4D Healing: Presented by Pulak Goswami, Eden Maloney, Dennis Zhou

4D Healing empowers patients to understand, innovate, and take ownership of their health conditions using mindset, ability, community, and time. The 4D Healing team noticed a need for patient support as they adapted to their new normal after diagnosis. 4D Healing provides a solution to help patients navigate their healing journey by leveraging physician-supervised patient-to-patient knowledge transfer, an online healing expo for hospitals, and visualization of patient goals. 

Solar Aqua Flex: Presented by Drew Horseman

The Solar Aqua Flex is solar-powered water treatment technology for end-users in remote areas and regions where water is scarce, and grid-tied utility is limited. Sourcing and treating water in remote, arid regions are expensive and complex. With simultaneous evaporation enhancement and freshwater recovery, versatile water treatment capabilities, and simple maintenance, Solar Aqua Flex provides a less complicated option to source and treat water. This device resembles a yoga mat and uses the heat from the sun to distill water and absorbent materials to pump water into and out of the device via capillary action. No fuel or electricity input and no moving mechanical parts!

Daedalus: Presented by Wenitte Apiou (WINNER)

Daedalus is a no-code platform for algorithmic cryptocurrency and stock trading. 99% of people are inadequately equipped to automate investment strategies but wish to do so. Daedalus allows amateur crypto traders to build custom cryptocurrency trading bots without writing a single line of code and connect to any brokerage or exchange via API. This platform enables users to copy existing strategies or create their own, organizing them by function. Users can build and apply investment strategies to their portfolios through a Scratch-like interface. 

TuneHatch: Presented by Christal Hector, Nathan Youssef, (did not present but on the team) Reece Franklin 

An online platform that uses predictive analytics to help independent artists and venues book more profitable shows, as well as help fans find local shows they’ll love. Artists and venues struggle to book profitable shows, while fans find it difficult and time-consuming to find local shows. TuneHatch uses data-driven insights to create recommendation algorithms for consistent fan turn-out, consistent revenues, and countless show options. TuneHatch seeks to make independent artistry and venue management sustainably profitable careers and connect fans with amazing live music experiences anywhere they go. 

After the six pitches were complete, judges’ cast their votes to determine Daedalus the Firestarter winner. Judges Ethan Fedida, Co-Founder of Campfire Group, Jeremy Padawer, Chief Brand Officer at Jazwares, LLC, Woody Klemmer, Founder & CEO of Gladly Do and Head of Growth at Formativ, Daniel Eckman, Founder of PACCHN, and Avery Fisher, CEO of HPA used their distinct backgrounds to share valuable and honest feedback on each of the business concepts. Groups were able to end the night with a 1:1 breakout session with the judges to gain insight and advice to grow their businesses and perfect their pitches. 

Interested in seeing the next pitch competition? Attend the 2022 Vanderbilt Entrepreneurship Conference to watch undergraduate and graduate students pitch their business concepts to a panel of judges for a chance to win $1,500. Register here for a day filled with insights and a chance to determine the “People’s Choice” pitch competition winner, who will receive $500 towards their business.