PreOv, a student startup developing a fertility monitoring technology that helps people with family planning, won first place and the $5,000 grand prize at the 2018-2019 University of Utah Opportunity Quest business-model, executive-summary competition today. Ten U teams advanced to the final judging and awards event. The competition is managed by students at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah and sponsored by Zions Bank.
Other top teams included the second-place winner InSufflex ($3,000), the third-place winner NipaYe ($1,000), and the best-video winner red_ ($1,000).
“At this year’s Opportunity Quest, we had a wide range of ideas, businesses, products and concepts,” said Parker Andriese, the student chair of Opportunity Quest and related competitions at the Lassonde Institute. “It was very exciting seeing all of their efforts come together in the pitches. I am thrilled to see how our top 10 for Opportunity Quest compete against students across the state in the upcoming Utah Entrepreneur Challenge.”
PreOv is creating a wireless device that includes a low-energy-sensing, intravaginal ring to evaluate the preovulatory phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The data is received from the sensor through the ring’s Bluetooth technology and viewed on the PreOv smartphone app. This information helps couples find their optimal fertile days with plenty of time ahead.
“The idea behind PreOv started in the Bench-to-Bedside competition [at the U],” said Young Hong, a PreOv team member. “We all found great interest in fertility; we each have a personal connection to it. We want to target the device to people who have busy careers or packed academic schedules. We had a lot of friends and family that have had trouble getting pregnant and the current methods that are out there are really inadequate and time-consuming.”
PreOv’s win in Opportunity Quest opened the door for further product development. “Right now we are building our working prototypes,” Young said. “Along with the development of the hardware components and mobile app, we are filing for our non-provisional patent. With the winnings from Opportunity Quest, we intend to conduct focus groups with women to really understand user acceptance, as well as find the final product details.”
Winning teams at Opportunity Quest received cash and in-kind prizes, and the winner, PreOv, advances into the top 20 of the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, where they will develop a full business model and compete against students across the state of Utah for the grand prize of $40,000.
The Lassonde Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business, hosts branch Opportunity Quest competitions across the state at partner universities. Participants are judged by industry experts based on the quality of their submission and pitch.
All university students in the state of Utah are welcome to apply now to the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, a statewide business-model competition with over $100,000 in prizes available to students. The application is open until Feb. 14. Apply online and learn more at lassonde.utah.edu/uec.
Learn more about Opportunity Quest at lassonde.utah.edu/oq.
Top 10 Opportunity Quest Teams
The top 10 finalists from the University of Utah Opportunity Quest were:
- Beacon Sleep Solution – Proprietary device that treats people suffer from sleep paralysis.
- Cool Kid Car Seat – Providing warm/cold air throughout the car seat’s surface using a smartphone.
- Deco-UV – Portable one-stop device decreasing antibiotic-resistant bacteria
- InSufflex – Supplying customers with the ability to rapidly deploy an insufflation device.
- NipaYe – Creating a breastfeeding product that helps natural milk production and providing positive nursing experience.
- PreOv – Wireless intravaginal ring that measures and collects changes in cervical mucus.
- Project Embrace – Global health nonprofit that facilitates global good by increasing access to healthcare for all.
- red_ – Providing fast, affordable internet to underserved areas of Latin America
- Rexchanger – Seeking the way to make outdoor recreation more affordable, more convenient and more streamlined.
- The Plastic Lab – Revolutionizing recycling by offering service that allows you transform waste into useful material.
About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages Lassonde Studios, a new five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.