An group of international students from Lawrence University took top prize at The Pitch college competition for startups and entrepreneurs.
WellBell, a team of four women from Lawrence, won the second annual competition for their emergency alert bracelet and companion subscription that allows wearers to send an S.O.S to a 911 operator for a medical emergency or other crisis, such as sexual assault. Unlike products currently on the market, the bracelet is discrete, targeted to larger age groups and transmits directly to 911.
The WellBell team received $10,000 in cash and $15,000 of in-kind services to further develop the product for market.
“It was unbelievably uncomfortable in (the judges’ room),” Adrienne Palm, director of gBETA Northeast Wisconsin at gener8tor, said as the judges announced their decision. “There wasn’t anybody on that stage who failed to impress us. Some of the concepts were so innovative, it was difficult to determine how to judge them.”
Pyxsee, a social media aggregation, productivity and parental control tool developed by Dayne Rusch, from UW-Oshkosh, took second, receiving a combined $15,000 in cash and services. PrecisionLAG, a golf teaching tool developed by Sam Hunt from UW-Green Bay, was the third-place finisher, receiving a combined $10,000 in cash and services to further develop his product.
The competition is a collaboration between Lawrence, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Green Bay, Ripon College and St. Norbert College that will fund the startup ideas of teams or individual students. It is modeled after the ABC television show “Shark Tank.”
Other participants and their school affiliation included:
- Poetien Farms, Anthony Malisch, Khun Maung, Carissa Waite and David Castillo, Ripon College
- Insta Chef, Alexandra Krueger, St. Norbert College
- Pet’s Best Friend, Hannah Hastings, UW-Green Bay
- Clip Safe, Lauren Hince, DeLou Wilson, Wyatt McGillin and Erika Isaacson, Ripon College
- Guido, Brian Mironer, Lawrence University
- Reinvent Ferment, Eric Riggers, UW-Oshkosh
- ICE-AID, Nick Agen and Christian Colaco, St. Norbert College