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Entrepreneurship@DU hosts the fall Madden Challenge in-person

It was a night of innovation, competition and celebration. More than 90 teams pitched their ideas for consideration in the Fall 2021 Madden Challenge.

Thirty teams made the cut, presenting their innovations Nov. 10. The Community Commons Events Room was packed with student competitors, peers, professors and judges—not to mention families, friends and colleagues tuning in to the livestream. Teams set themselves up in a science fair layout, with poster boards and prototypes on full display.

Teams showcased their work to a prestigious panel of judges, including Corinne Lengsfeld, senior vice provost of research and graduate education; Kevin Rossi, computer scientist and quantitative analyst; Caroline Gash, managing director of IrishAngels and consultant to entrepreneurs and investors; and Alexander Page, a social entrepreneur, impact investor and executive coach.

Attendees roamed and learned more about these blossoming startups. After an hour of mingling and pitching, judges were dismissed for deliberation. Attendees voted on their phones to pick their favorite venture. In the end, six teams (five chosen by judges, one by audience vote) were selected to take the stage and present a final, polished pitch of their startup.

Team Alveose kicked things off, explaining how their startup focused on addressing the issue of air pollution would work. Next up was Sweet Feet, a company that would create environmentally sustainable shoe insoles (and whose pitch was finished with an impressive standing backflip!).

Smart Block Wills pitched next, with their Blockchain-based estate planning technology. Then, Works Like a Charm shared about their product that can detect when drinks have been illegally tampered with. CryptoMata took the stage with their concept of a cryptocurrency-based credit card. Finally, Revamp Reefs wrapped things up with their venture that tackles the crisis of reef pollution.

2021 Madden Challenge Winners

2021 Madden Challenge winners

After careful deliberation by the judges, awards were given to the winning teams:

3rd Place ($500): CryptoMata
Team members include Michael Gumataotao, Antonio Martinez, Tanner Dillin and Andrew Gersack.

2nd Place ($1000): Alveose
Team members include Steven Gu, Colin McCormick, Harrison Schultz and JT Millett.

1st Place ($2500): Sweet Feet
Team members include Austin Walen, Nathan Cox, Harrison Tarr, Tevin Smith and R.J. Mestas.

“Sweet Feet’s ability to identify an opportunity and develop a solution with a working 3-D printed prototype set them apart in a very competitive and talented group of innovators,” said Joshua Ross, director of Entrepreneurship@DU. “Advancing from 90 teams, to 30 teams, to five teams, to first place, clearly demonstrated their ability to articulate the Sweet Feet business value proposition and market opportunity.”