Previous Winners


2016 Startup Challenge Winners


Clean Slate Messenger is a digital platform which offers private, instant chat to help youth to control their digital trail through on-demand deletion and captivating letter-by-letter messaging.

Graduate, College of Engineering (Rachel Harsley); Alumnus, College of Engineering (Daniel Ruiz)


Beet Strong is a beet-infused nutrition bar that’s high protein, high fiber, and made with real fruits, nuts, and chocolate.  Ingredients are linked to improved cardiovascular function, athletic performance, and muscle building.

Graduate Student, College of Business Administration (Sofia Sanchez); Graduate Student, College of Applied Health Sciences (Austin Robinson)

FINALISTS ($500 Each)

The Arch Fingerskate Corporation produces one of the world’s most creative, innovative, and interactive fingerskate platforms and strives to capitalize on a young, emerging fingerskating market.

Undergraduate Students, College of Business Administration (Justin Ellis, Matt Gruhn, Alex Lombardi, Ryan Dowler, Sam Voss)

Clearmaze Technologies is a startup that helps community college students pick the right courses that transfer to a university using a simple 3 step process.

Undergraduate Student, College of Engineering (Mohammed Mustafa Hoda)

NeXTSTEP Bank helps students submit one student loan application to receive multiple offers from different banks in order to select the best one to meet their needs.

Undergraduate Student, College of Engineering (Ilham Kabir); Undergraduate Student, College of Business Administration (Jaime Manriquez)

sĕntēme uses the power of user-generated online content to provide in-depth automated summaries of people’s opinions, enable customers to make quick buying decisions, and help businesses design better products.

Graduate Student, College of Engineering (Vivek Revanna Shivaprabhu); Undergraduate Student, College of Business Administration (Moe Kanan)

RecoNinja uses artificial intelligence to present fine-tuned recommendations to users, allowing them to spend their valuable time consuming content, rather than searching for it.

Graduate Students, College of Business Administration (Soham Joshi, Advait Netravali, Melphin Parathazham, Harsh Selani, Nikunj Vora)

nexpil, inc. keeps heart failure patients in a homeostatic fluid state, autonomously titrating diuretics via machine-learning software, utilizing existing hardware technology to collect and deliver data.

Graduate Student, College of Business Administration & College of Medicine (Chris Duff); Alumnus, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (Syed Khalid)

Hizzah is the education platform for young, active learners who want a more engaging experience by integrating learning with analytics and exciting multiplayer games.

Graduate Student, College of Pharmacy (Mohammed Munir Ahmed)


Ecoair is an interdisciplinary team focusing on a sustainable lifestyle for cost efficient consumers by combining engineering and marketing mindsets to deliver a desirable product.

Undergraduate Student, College of Business Administration (Donald Lacombe); Undergraduate Student, College of Engineering (Joonha Joo)

Clutch for Life gives prison inmates a second chance at success by allowing inmates to handcraft luxury bags for their community.

Undergraduate Student, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (Karen Valencia)

ShoeBoxOne has evolved from the traditionally burdensome shoe storage and was created to fulfill every shoe collector’s dream.  A single solution to protect and present customers most valuable possessions.

Undergraduate Student, College of Engineering (Eddy Mejia)

Pear Loans, Inc. matches investors with small businesses through a patented online lending platform that provides faster funding, better rates, and asset backed security.

Graduate Students, College of Business Administration (Brendan Behrens, Alex Mauritz, Matt Puglisi, Dan Sorensen)


International Youth & Children Sports Development focuses on developing international sports programs for UIC international students, and over 1 million current students in Beijing, China.

Graduate Student, College of Business Administration (Xiaoli Xu)

UIC Startup Challenge Previous Winners

Year Prize Winning Project  Winning Team
2015 First Place Autonomy Roy Moran, Aman Chowdhury
2015 Second Place Little Genius Games  Jamie Rayahin, Alex Damarjian
2015 Elevator Pitch/Fan Favorite Gps Campus Paul Callejas, Ricky Martinez
2013 First Place Graduate- NuFortis Brittany Chibe, Flor Fernandez, Jason Rebello
2013 First Place Undergraduate- Shy Spa Jacquelyn Jenke
2013 Best Elevator Pitch Graduate System Science Corporation Vasiliki Thomeas, Alex Cross, Catherine Gildea
2013 Best Elevator Pitch Undergraduate Upside Down Bakery John Cruz
2013 Fan Favorite Upside Down Bakery John Cruz
 2012 First Prize – Graduate
Clean and Green Award
Radeant tech Alex Duchak, Kristen Perhach, Tony Mammana-Lupo
2012 Second Prize – Graduate EverFile System James DeMory, Benjamin Lachman
2011 First Prize- Graduate
Best Elevator Pitch
NovoView Diagnostics Dominic Blank, Joseph Sheahan,
Michelle Shah
2011 First Prize- Undergraduate
Sustainability Award
True Herban Clothing  Salim Rowe
2011 Second Prize- Graduate  Metropolitan Farms  Benjamin Kant
2011 Second Prize- Undergraduate Caf’Rae Dulce  Eileen Galvin, Rae Gottlieb
2011 Best Non-CBA Team Terra Energy
2011 Best Social Venture IOMI Technologies
2010 Best Elevator Pitch Cab Tracker Jacob Weinberg, Nathan Murdock,
Nathaniel Jungheim
2010 Second Prize-Graduate
Sustainability Award
Exciton Systems Ahmed Mujovic, April Gardner
2010 Second Prize- Undergraduate AMI Tim Walsh, Francisco Alvarez
2009 Second Prize-
Urban Enviroscapes Bonaficio R. Runez, Jr., Andy Camp
2009 Best Non-CBA Team
Best Social Venture
 Pretty in Pink Janice Gries
2008 First Prize-
Verta Carta LLC Saeb Ahsan, Malgorzata Gonig Rejnowska,
Justin Polera, Robert MacNeill
2008 Second Prize-Graduate
Best Elevator Pitch
 Optical Insight  Daniel Ripes, Amanda So
2008 Second Prize- Undergraduate Emerald Power Systems Will Kokum, Farrah Siganporia,
Robert Ryan Brandys
2007 Second Prize
Best Elevator Pitch
BioRegenix Darius Kaulius, Thomas Triantafillou,
GoKul Kumar
2007 Third Prize
Best Undergraduate
WeVenture James Kelley, Aaron Miles, Darnell Shields,
Uchenns Nnaemeka, Elijah Watson
2006 First Prize
Best Elevator Pitch
Optimal Vision Corp. Kristin Ware, Shrijay Vijayan, Kelly Leibl
2006 Second Prize Baskets by Design Ashley Kockler, Sharokina Bazand,
Best Undergraduate Leva Sasnauskaite, Ruzanna Pagosyan
2006 Third Prize FinerFlow
Flow Diagnostics
2005  First Prize SanoGene Theraputics Caralynn Nowinski, Chirag Patel
2005 Second Prize
Best Elevator Pitch
Ortho Accel Technologies Mark Kwatia, Kirk Purcell, Anna Lisa Somera,
Colin James, Matthew Christian
2005 Third Prize Indigenous Energy
2005 Best Undergraduate Clarm Inc.