On Thursday, April 23rd, a full house of supporters turned out for the second annual Cangialosi Business Innovation Competition (CBIC). Coordinated by UMBC’s Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, and made possible by a generous gift from alumnus and serial entrepreneur Greg Cangialosi, the CBIC offers students an opportunity to experience the process of planning a start-up business.
As the members of the teams arrived, a blend of confidence and nervousness filled the air. Seven (7) teams were selected out of 28 applicants to share their business ideas with a panel of three judges; Ed Chalfin, Co-chair of the Baltimore Angels, Kelly Trumpbour, Founder of See Jane Invest, and Demian Costa, Partner of Plank Industries. Teams were comprised primarily of UMBC undergraduate and graduate students, and each was paired with a business mentor to help them further develop and polish their idea prior to the final competition.
Stakes were high with cash awards of $5,000 for 1st place, $2,000 for 2nd place and $1,000 for 3rd place as well as membership to Betamore, a Federal Hill based incubator and educational facility co-founded by Cangialosi.
First place went to Michael Gardner and Nathan Hefner for their development of NeighborhoodNet, a software as a service (SaaS) platform made for creating and managing community associations websites. Michael presented the pitch to the judges solo and did an amazing job. He talked about his prior entrepreneurial endeavors and how he and Nathan were able to develop NeighborhoodNet through their previous experiences. NeighborhoodNet’s goal is to give communities an easy way to personalize their sites while also staying connected to their residents.
Second place went to Patrick Wheltle and Robert Oehrli for their company Baltimore Emergency Medical Technology. Kicking the night off with a stellar pitch, Patrick and Robert explained how their electronic triage tag could be used in mass casualty incidents to help save more lives. They explained that technology in this field, and specifically with triage tags, have not changed in 40 years. During mass casualty events patients are tagged with a hand written tag and sorted by priority that way. It is their hope that their electronic tag would allow paramedics to assess patents faster and save more lives faster.
Third place went to Annah Seo and her application called PiVot. This application would enable students and working professionals to independently assess abilities and interests before moving on to explore potential career paths. Her app would be specifically marketed towards the millennial generation when they search for jobs after graduation.
Participation in the competition is just the first phase of the business education the winning teams will experience. By far the most important part of the CBIC will be what comes next, the involvement in Betamore programming and events which will provide valuable connections to the Baltimore business community.
We would like to say congratulations to all participants who entered. We are so proud of the innovation and creativity happening at UMBC and are excited to see what’s next.