Xavier University's "Launch-a-Business Competion" showed off its inaugural winners Thursday morning at Smith Hall.
More than 160 applicants entered to receive free consulting services from Williams College of Business at XU. The X-LAB winners have the opportunity to interact and learn from 65 professors, 500 executive mentors and 1,000 MBA students.
"These winners demonstrate that people in Greater Cincinnati are exceptionally innovative and determined to succeed," said Ali Malekzadeh, Dean of the Willaims College of Business in a news release. "The potential of these entrepreneurs is tremendous."
X-LAB Winners and descriptions according to the news release:
WINNER: Dr. Sambhu Choudhury, Concepto, Cincinnati
This business wants to develop wound sleeves for immediate care of patients with injured arms and legs. This product could be used on battlefields and in ambulances, hospitals and doctors' offices. It is designed to create a sterile environment that reduces infection, controls pain, contains bodily fluids and make patient transportation easier.
Comments of X-LAB evaluators: Concepto has innovative solutions to practical medical problems and the team has great expertise.
WINNER: People Working Cooperatively, Cincinnati
(Represented by President Jock Pitts.)
This established nonprofit organization provides home repairs, energy conservation and similar assistance for low-income, elderly and disabled clients, helping them stay in their homes. People Working Cooperatively wants help managing rapid growth. The demand for the organization's services is growing not only because of the recession but also because its service territory is expanding beyond the Tri-state area.
Comments of X-LAB evaluators: Helping people stay in their homes is tremendously important work and the management team has an impressive record.
WINNER: Alice Huff, Tia Marie & Co., Cincinnati
This business would produce a complete line of two-sided suitcases that separate clean and dirty items by using moisture and odor absorbing materials. This business already has an overseas company interested in manufacturing the luggage. Targeted customers would include business travelers, sports teams and outdoor enthusiasts.
Comments of X-LAB evaluators: X-LAB evaluators were so impressed that they were ready to buy suitcases.
WINNER: Michael Kou, Growth by Export, Cincinnati
This would be a consulting business that advises clients on complicated technical and regulatory aspects involved with exporting goods and services. The business would focus on small- to medium-size businesses that have unique products and services that can be marketed to large developing markets such as Brazil, China and India.
Comments of X-LAB evaluators: Michael Kou thoroughly understands the export business and has a great work ethic.
WINNER: Chad Martin, Elite Protection Group, California, KY
This business wants to manufacture a prisoner partition that separates the front and rear seats in a police car. The difference between this partition and those already made is that it has a removable panel that would serve as a bullet-resistant shield, which officers can use outside their patrol cars to protect themselves from gunfire. These shields would be more accessible than the ones used by SWAT teams.
Comments of X-LAB evaluators: The evaluators are impressed with the life-saving possibilities.
WINNER: Dr. Stephen McClanahan, Americas Clinical, Loveland, OH
This business has started a clinical research site in Guatemala for the pharmaceutical industry and plans to expand to other parts of Latin America. Most U.S. clinical trials are not finished on time due to the difficulty in recruiting the right patients to participate. Latin America provides access to a larger number of people eligible to participate in drug trials than the United States, thus speeding up pharmaceutical development.
Comments of X-LAB evaluators: This team knows the technical side extremely well.
WINNER: Marc Randolph, Epstein Educational Enterprises, Cincinnati
This business sells an educational testing system that provides immediate feedback to students, thus helping them learn more effectively. It uses a scratch-off, answer-until-correct test form that provides students with immediate, individualized feedback for each question. This process causes students to know the correct answer before moving on to another question. It is based on psychological principles relating to learning, retention and motivation.
Comments of X-LAB evaluators: This testing system has tremendous growth potential.
WINNER: Sandra Ambrose, PL4S, Fairfield, OH
This is an online business aimed at the transportation industry to provide a greener, more efficient way of shipping small loads. This technology would significantly change the business model in a very traditional industry. It also would make it possible for suppliers and their customers to get better values.