Engineering Students Win Big in 2021 New Venture Competition

Engineering Students win big at the 2021 Merage New Venture Ant Tank Finale Competition.

June 9, 2021 – The Merage School's Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship conducted its virtual live “Shark Tank”-style final round of this year’s 17th annual New Venture Competition on May 27, 2021. The top ten teams walked away with cash and prizes valued at more than $100,000; three of the winning teams included Samueli School of Engineering students.

The grand finale was broadcast via Zoom where the finalists competed for the grand prize in a 3-minute fast-pitch, facing a panel of five distinguished judges from Orange County’s startup ecosystem. Although the judges considered specific criteria when evaluating concept papers and pitch decks, they ultimately chose the winning teams based on which pitches they would most likely invest their own money in. 

Here are the winning teams that count Anteater Engineers as members. 

MoodCloud earned a tie for first place in the Consumer Services category ($5,000). MoodCloud is an app that combines artificial intelligence with the world of lifestyle and health management. It enables its users to express themselves and view exactly how their day-to-day lifestyle has a long-term impact on their health.

REMSYS tied for first place with MoodCloud in the Consumer Services category ($5,000). The team’s goal was to create a résumé management system designed for college students. The program would alleviate the hassle of managing multiple résumés when applying to various jobs.

StyloSonic took home first place in the Life Sciences category ($7,500). StyloSonic is a miniaturized handpiece that uses ultrasound/photoacoustic imaging to provide key periodontal metrics. The tool aims to assist dentists and periodontists with accurately diagnosing gingivitis in the early stage and to reduce the rate of advanced periodontitis.

The UCI New Venture Competition is open to all UCI students, staff members and researchers as well as community members. This year, 100 concepts were initially submitted in February. The competition and entrepreneurship program are dedicated to cultivating the entrepreneurial mindset and launching student startups in Orange County.

– Megan Sosa