Two health care-related businesses and a service that provides law students with audio recordings of reading assignments took top honors at the 2018 Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge.
Ten finalists delivered five-minute pitches to a panel of judges for a share of $75,000 in cash and prizes as part of the sixth annual entrepreneurship competition, sponsored by Mike Seiman, a member of Hofstra’s Board of Trustees and CEO of Digital Remedy.
A wide range of programs, majors, and class years were represented among the 10 finalists, including entrepreneurship, marketing, management, psychology, liberal arts, computer science, and economics. A total of 27 teams entered this year’s competition.
“Year after year, the creativity and energy of our students never fails to impress and inspire me,” said Mark Lesko, vice president for economic development and executive dean of Hofstra’s Center for Entrepreneurship, which administers the competition. “Seeing the remarkable variety of ideas, coupled with the fact that several of our finalists are first- and second-year students, confirms that the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Hofstra is alive and growing.”
The annual Hofstra-Digital Remedy Venture Challenge encourages students with business ideas to engage in business model generation, and provides students with guidance through a boot camp program, individual mentoring sessions, and pitch preparation with the Center’s entrepreneurs-in-residence. The goal of the Venture Challenge is to inspire students to launch their own startup businesses by leading them through the business model canvas and customer discovery process and teaching them effective communication skills. The center’s headquarters, known as the ideaHUb, will be based at the Zarb School of Business’ new building when it opens in January.
“This is everything – coming here, competing, making it to the finals, that’s really what being an entrepreneur is about,” said Seiman, who founded his company, formerly known as CPXi, when he was still a Hofstra student. “It’s about trying, it’s about having the conviction to continue no matter what. Have that passion, have that pride in yourself for what you’ve done here.”
The 2018 winners were:
- First place, and a total prize package of $42,000: MedAux, an SMS-based patient assessment solution for post-acute care
of heart failure patients created by a physician, Dr. Behzad Jazayeri, and a doctoral student in the School of Education, Elnaz Sarabchian. The MedAux platform provides a library of interactive patient education videos; automates the delivery of patient education materials before, during, and after each visit; and sends follow-up messages to patients.
- Second place, and a total prize package of $21,000: Lawdio, a service that provides audio of law cases to make it easier for law students who are short on time to complete reading assignments. The tech startup is the brainchild of Seema Rambaran, a third-year student at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law. (Lawdio also won the $500 People’s Choice Award, which was chosen via online voting by viewers who watched a livestream of the competition.)
- Third place, and a total prize package of $8,000: SteriLocker, a patented garment sterilizer for hospitals that uses ultraviolet light technology. The system is designed to reduce infections and improve patient care while saving health care facilities money. SteriLocker was created by Jonathan Preminger, a fourth-year medical student at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.
Prize packages include cash and in-kind contributions from Digital Remedy, including summer incubator space at its Manhattan offices and a digital marketing package.