BUS 1440 students pitched their innovative startup ideas at Entrepreneurship@DU’s quarterly pitch competition

In its 11th year, the Madden Challenge has become a staple of Entrepreneurship@DU and the Daniels College of Business. On March 8, student teams took the floor and pitched their business ventures in hopes of winning cash prizes of up to $2,000.

The competing students formed their teams in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (BUS 1440) class, made up predominantly of first-year Daniels students. While learning about emerging technologies, students were tasked with brainstorming business ideas that leveraged these technologies to solve modern-day issues. In total, 90 of these student teams applied to compete in this quarter’s Madden Challenge. Of that group, 28 were selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

The judges represented a diverse range of entrepreneurial experience:

Judges made their way around to all 28 teams, stationed around the Community Commons in a “science fair” layout. Students also pitched to attendees of the competition, who then had the chance to vote for their favorite as the Audience Choice Award.

Once the judging period ended, judges deliberated to select the top five teams to advance to the final round of pitches. These teams, as well as the winner of the Audience Choice Award, then took the main stage to pitch their startups to the entire crowd.

The six finalists displayed several unique ideas, all of which utilized Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies in clever ways:

  • Medi-Pack, a compact adhesive that detects heart attacks and automatically dispenses medicine to slow the attack
  • Safety Shell, a phone case with a sensor that can detect fentanyl and other “roofies,” as well as notifying emergency services with the tap of a button
  • Cranium Cage, protective sports helmets that immediately detect concussions
  • Sobriety Sensor, a car installation which uses a mix of BAC and movement sensors to automatically intervene if a driver is deemed too drunk to drive
  • AKTV Mirror, a smart mirror that scans in the clothing you own and uses augmented reality to quickly test an outfit
  • YATEE Shoes, 3D-printed biodegradable shoes with no carbon emissions and donate a pair of shoes with each sale

The judges took a break to deliberate the final pitches. On their return, awards were distributed to the winning teams:

3rd Place ($500): Safety Shell
Katie Radic
Michael Carchidi
Hannah Dunnam
Evin Biddle-Axelrod
Emmalina Houston
Lucy Bittell





2nd place: ($1,000) YATEE ShoesMadden Challenge 2023 2nd place winners
Estevan Lee
Alexis Romo Montes
Emely Lopez
Yamilet Espinoza Nunez







Madden Challenge 2023 1st place winners1st Place ($2,000): Sobriety Sensor
Andres Osuna
Megan Bridgeman
Max Wilkins
Louise Wikander






Congratulations to all the winners and competitors of this quarter’s Madden Challenge. We will see you at the end of spring quarter! If you missed the winter 2023 Madden Challenge, you can watch the video.