• LaunchTown

    Entrepreneurial Awards

  • About

    The LaunchTown Entrepreneurship Awards are an idea competition, seeking students with the BEST IDEA for a new business, product or service that addresses a significant market need. This is an open competition, available to all students, of all majors, from all colleges and universities. $10,000 in cash prizes available.

    The LaunchTown™ Entrepreneurship Awards and leadership team is committed to fostering innovative ideas from student entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio’s more than 150,000 university and college students. Its mission is to create an enhanced awareness of the importance and potential of robust entrepreneurial activity, and to celebrate the extraordinary creative talent already in our region.

    The LaunchTown leadership team announces the finalists for 2017:

    Hunger Perks
    Onco Solutions
    Reflexion Interactive
    Yes, We Khan



    Final presentations are open to the public:


    Location: The Bit Factory, Akron, Ohio
    When: April 27, 5:00pm – 7:30pm
    526 S Main St. Suite 511
  • Presented by

    The LaunchTown leadership team consists of regional professional and university leaders who volunteer their time to manage the competition and advise the teams.

  • Competition Guidelines

    Important Dates

    March 17, 2017- Proposals due

    April 10, 2017-Semi final presentations 9am-noon, Kent State University

    April 27, 2017-LaunchTown Finals, 5:00 pm at the Bit Factory on the 5th floor of the Akron Global Accelerator. The event is free and will have food, speakers, and awards.

    Submission Guidelines

    • Multiple disciplines are encouraged
    • Faculty/staff advisor preferred
    • Proposal not to exceed four pages
    • Submit as one PDF file
    • Proposal should include answers to the following questions:
      •     What is your technology based product, service or business idea?
      •     Why is it different and what makes it special?
      •     How are you going to create it?
      •     What are you going to charge for it?
      •     How are you going to sell it?
      •     Who is going to buy it?
      •     Who are your competitors?
      •     What are your competitive advantages?
    • Judging will be based on the quality of the idea and the following rubric:
      • Likelihood of commercialization and business impact on the region (50%)
      • Marketability, including IP (25%)
      • Materials and presentation (25%)
  • Apply

    Complete the application form below, and then review this website for key dates and specific steps on entering your Best Idea to win in the 2017 LaunchTown competition.

  • Past Winners


    The University of Akron

    The winning team, called PolyLux, is comprised of Kaushik Mishra, a Ph.D. student in polymer science, and Prad Georges, a JD-MBA graduate working toward a master's in accountancy.

    Mishra invented an adhesive technology that can facilitate easy removal of bandages and minimize pain, discomfort and injury to a patient’s skin. Georges was brought in to solidify the business case and help identify how the technology can go to market.


    The University of Akron

    Ph.D. student Kathy Stitzlein and post baccalaureate biomedical engineering student Mariam Crow are the first all-female team to win the award since its inception. Beating out a total of 24 teams, Stitzlein and Crow won for their Cannibuster device, which law enforcement officers can use roadside to detect the levels of THC in drivers in a matter of minutes. Currently, drivers must be taken to a hospital for bloodwork and lab results can take up to six weeks to process.


    Case Western Reserve University

    The stylish wristband that utilizes military grade encryption to grant access to key and password enabled devices.  Created by team leader Chris Wentz, Everykey also manages a password keychain for automatic login to websites.

    2013-Disease Diagnostic Group

    Case Western Reserve University

    This team included John Lewandowski and Mark Lewandowski; mentored by Dr. Brian Grimberg of Case Western Reserve University. A breakthrough portable medical diagnostic tool for malaria that is fast, reliable, inexpensive and reusable.


    The University of Akron

    The team developed a minimal shock set screw as an implant that promises to be safer, more flexible and more effective for surgical use in patients with back problems needing spinal stabilization. The implant is made from a titanium alloy.

    2010-LifeServe Innovations

    featured in Bloomberg Businessweek’s Top 25 U.S. Entrepreneurs Under 25


    featured in Bloomberg Businessweek’sTop 25 U.S. Entrepreneurs Under 25

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