Miami University students create startup business ideas, present to judges

OXFORD — A recent three-day event at Miami University included nearly 90 students who formed teams to work together on a startup business idea and present it to judges.

The students formed 16 teams that worked through the Oct. 14-16 weekend on their business plans, talking with potential customers in the process.

“It definitely challenges you. It’s 48 hours of constant critical thinking, ideating, and working with others,” student organizer MariClaire Warnock said. “You learn a lot about yourself when you’re kind of trapped in a room for a little bit.”

Mentors were part of the program, to help students with their projects. The teams were narrowed down to four finalists by the end of the weekend, who presented to a panel of judges.

According to a release from the university, here are the winners:

· First place and $2,500 went to Seen-It, an app for helping viewers determine what to watch on streaming services (Finnley Brakke, Josef Arnold, Keshon Woods, Siddhant Karki and Hayoung Cho).

· Second place and $1,500 went to Sip Safer, a drink straw that can detect if date rape drugs are places in the drink (Caroline Bowman, Anna Gioia, Ashley Underwood and Robert Wright).

· Third place and $500 went to Ntrn, a service to help match business fraternities and businesses looking for short-term help from students. (Maggie Bowland, Hayden Erwin, Joey Schneider, Mason Stahl and Kyle Neckar).

· Fourth place and $500 went to Vite, for toothpaste made partially from eggshells. (Jack Goudie, Ronnie Romanini, Nick Mittler, Megan Sparks and Alex Pauer).

Vite also won the People’s Choice award, voted on by the student participants, and Brakke was named the Startup Star by the mentors, Miami officials said in a release.

For more about this event, go online to

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