Tulane Business Model Competition announces 2019 semifinalists

Tulane Business Model Competition
The 2019 Tulane Business Model Competition will award more than $40,000 in cash to student-led startups that demonstrate high growth potential and a market-tested ability to adapt to customer needs.


Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business has named the six student teams that will face off in the qualifying round of the 2019 Tulane Business Model Competition during the 11th annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW).

Presented by the Freeman School’s Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the contest will award over $40,000 in cash prizes to university-based startups and early-stage ventures that demonstrate high growth potential and a market-tested ability to adapt to customer needs.

“On behalf of the judges who helped select them, I wish a heartfelt congratulations to these six companies,” said Rob Lalka, executive director of the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “These business models stood out among a strong pool of 92 applicants from 44 different universities. We look forward to hearing our semifinalists pitch and introducing them to mentors and investors during New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.”

This year’s qualifying round will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. on March 27 at the Stewart Center CBD, the Freeman School’s new facility at 725 Howard Ave. in the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute. Each semifinalist will have 10 minutes to pitch its venture to a panel of judges. Three teams will be chosen to advance to the competition’s final round to be held on April 8 at Tulane University.

The winning team will receive a grand prize of $25,000 and earn the right to compete in the International Business Model Competition, which will take place at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, on May 9-10. The runner up will receive a $10,000 prize, and the third-place team will receive $2,500.

The 2019 Tulane Business Model Competition semifinalists are:

  • Gallus (Georgia Tech University) — a digital marketplace that connects boat owners with boat renters, turning recreational transportation into a hobby and not a hassle.

  • GeneForward (Tulane University) — a medical diagnostic kit capable of detecting the presence of active viral and bacterial infections in blood samples in under an hour for less than $20.

  • KnoNap (George Washington University) — a cocktail napkin that, upon saturation, is capable of testing for specific rape-drug presence.

  • One-Voice (Oklahoma State University) — provider of easily accessible and reliable sewer system data in order to help sewer stakeholders implement proactive asset management strategies.

  • RentCheck (Tulane University) — an inspection app that works closely with landlords and renters to ensure transparency of the rental process.

  • Speeko (University of Iowa) — an app that helps individuals improve their professional speaking style through automated voice analytics to give instant feedback on aspects of the speech.

For more information about this year’s Tulane Business Model Competition, please contact Emily Egan, Lepage Center director of strategic initiatives, at 504-865-5462 or eegan@tulane.edu.