On June 6, Entrepreneurship@DU capped off the 2023-24 academic year with another enthralling Madden Challenge. This quarterly pitch competition has been running since 2012, providing students of Daniels’ Fourth Industrial Revolution course (BUS 1440) the opportunity to ideate and pitch startups that address problems in industries ranging from sustainability, healthcare and more. Each quarter showcases a wide array of budding student entrepreneurs. Spring 2024 proved no different, with plenty of innovative students competing for cash prizes.

In BUS 1440, student teams are tasked with solving modern-day problems via Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as automation, augmented reality, cloud computing and more. Students then develop these ideas into full-fledged business proposals. If desired, student teams pitch these business proposals to E@DU for the chance to compete in the Madden Challenge, where their pitch could win up to $2,500 in cash prizes. This quarter, the competition was fierce, with six outstanding teams selected to vie for the coveted Madden Challenge cash prizes.

Typically, the Madden Challenge opens with its “science fair” portion of the competition. Each of the 30 chosen teams display their pitches on poster boards while attendees, including a top-tier panel of judges, roam around the room hearing from the student teams. However, during the Spring quarter, the event becomes a more intimate affair with a sit-down dinner. Teams pitched their business idea to Entrepreneurship@DU in advance of the competition, and the top six teams were selected to present a formal. Attendees enjoyed a buffet dinner as they watched the students deliver their final pitch.

This quarter’s judges represented some of Denver’s most exciting entrepreneurs, many of whom have direct ties to Entrepreneurship@DU. This quarter’s esteemed judges included:

This quarter’s pitches demonstrated a solid grasp of technological advancements and industry trends. The teams were:

  • Carefree, an innovative elder and memory care system that utilizes AI technology, integrating wearable and smart home devices to empower those needing care.
  • Cyber Armory Systems, a biometric replacement lock for gun safes featuring facial ID, fingerprint recognition and a mobile app to enhance gun storage safety and reduce the liability associated with traditional pin pad locks.
  • VirtueHire, offers AI enabled virtual reality interview practices for job seekers and a search feature for employers to find and hire candidates.
  • Epi Patch, an adhesive patch featuring an epinephrine capsule that connects to app to monitor doses and notify emergency contacts, providing vital support for children with severe allergies.
  • BeEco, an automated user-friendly bee keeping product that uses internet of things sensor and 3D printed soy wax to automatically harvest local honey while providing a safe and supportive environment to combat the declining bee population.
  • Ligament Link, a biocompatible and biodegradable component that promotes natural tissue regeneration, offering a superior alternative to traditional ACL reconstruction.

After tallying up the scores and engaging in a brief deliberation, the panel of industry judges selected the top three winners of the Spring 2024 Madden Challenge:

  • 3rd Place (up to $500): Ligament Link
  • 2nd Place (up to $1,000): VirtueHire
  • 1st Place (up to $2,500): Epi Patch

Congratulations to all the student innovators who helped us end the school year on a high note.

Team Ligament Link