Business Model Competition names finalists for $25K prize

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The 2018 Tulane Business Model Competition will award $40,000 in cash prizes to student-led startups that demonstrate high growth potential and a market-tested ability to adapt to customer needs.

A medical device maker with the world's first nasal dilator designed for daytime use, a technology company that uses artificial intelligence to help marketers produce more engaging content for customers and a school lunch service that uses an online platform to enable kids to choose their own healthy lunches have been selected as the three finalists in the 2018 Tulane Business Model Competition.

Presented by the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business, the competition awards $40,000 in cash prizes to student-led startups and early-stage ventures from across the country that demonstrate high-growth potential and a market-tested ability to adapt to customer needs. This year’s event attracted more than 40 applications from business schools across the nation.

The three finalists — AssistENT (Johns Hopkins University), Boost Linguistics (Drexel University) and Uchooze Lunchbox (University of Arkansas) — will compete on Thursday, April 19, in the Goldring/Woldenberg Business Complex on Tulane University's uptown campus with the winner to be announced later that evening at the Lepage Center’s annual Awards Gala at the Audubon Tea Room. The winning team will receive a grand prize of $25,000 and earn a spot in the International Business Model Competition in Provo, Utah, on May 10-11. The second-place team will receive a $10,000 prize, and the third-place team will receive $2,500.

“The quality of the competition just keeps getting better,” said Rob Lalka, executive director of the Lepage Center. “Our three finalists come from universities across the country, and our judges each remarked about how innovative their solutions are and how much traction each has already demonstrated. That truly speaks volumes about the competition’s growing reputation.”

Serving as this year’s semifinal round judges were Laurie Aronson, Jim Christian, John Elstrott, Aidan Gill, Jude Olinger, David Rieveschl and Mei Wang. The event’s sponsors were the Albert Lepage Foundation, the Freeman Graduate Business Council, the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA) and the Tulane Entrepreneur Association (TEA).

The final round of the Tulane Business Model Competition is free and open to the public. The Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards Gala is by invitation only. For more information about this year’s competition and gala, please contact Stephanie Kleehammer, director of strategic initiatives at the Lepage Center, at 504-865-5462 or

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