College of Business > News & Events > Purpose-Driven Startups Compete for Prizes
By Andrew Zamorski | Photos by Kathy Hillegonds /
May 10, 2018 /
Posted in: College and Schools, Alumni, Students /
Four Chicago startups with ties to DePaul pitched their purpose-driven businesses in the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center’s second annual Purpose Pitch Competition May 3.
Held at 1871, Chicago’s tech business incubator, the competition was a unique pitch session where founders had five minutes to present their startups’ purposes instead of pitching investors on its profit-making potential. Each company had at least one student, alumnus or employee in its leadership team. The four companies split the $25,000 in award money and were recognized as the “Most Purposeful Startups in Chicago.”
"I love seeing the commitment that our students and alumni have to make a difference in the world," says Bruce Leech, executive director of the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center. "I look forward to this event every year to see what kind of causes in this world people are embracing to solve.”
The four startups competing for the top prize were:
Learn more about DePaul’s entrepreneurship programs:
View a photo gallery to find out more, including which startup went home with the top prize.
The judges graded each pitch on the strength of the purpose, the strength of the business model, the difference they would make in the life of their customers and the overall presentation.
Misty Johanson, dean of the Driehaus College of Business, kicked off the event welcoming the audience and encouraging DePaul entrepreneurs to pursue their ventures with purpose as well as passion.
Keynote speaker Syed Khalid is a physician, scientist, inventor, author and entrepreneur whose passion and purpose is to meaningfully improve healthcare and the outcomes of its delivery.
Furever Home Friends teaches kids about social issues like prejudice, discrimination, body image, homelessness and abuse. It also connects kids emotionally with animals and help dogs in need.
Universala Esports centers used video games to help youths develop transferable skills,including critical thinking, data analysis, emotional intelligence, team building strategy and risk management.
AK Prosthetics will provide prosthetic limbs and hi-tech solutions for users via augmented reality prosthetic limb simulation, 3D Scanners, 3D Printers and other services.
10th Avenue Tea delivers instant matcha tea powder in an innovative shaker bottle. The bottle has 45 servings in it and can be recycled when done, so there is no packaging waste.
Ann Foley (LAS ’99) won first prize, taking home $15,000. She accepts the award with her family.
There competition attracted 56 entries from students, faculty, staff and alumni. They represented colleges across the university.