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Fall Rainforest Student Pitch Competition Draws Large Number of Participants

Crowd ShotSTC and the UNM Innovation Academy co-hosted their eighth Rainforest Student Pitch Competition on the evening of November 5 at Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.  This popular community event recognizes student entrepreneurs in the state. The pitch competition was an opportunity for aspiring student entrepreneurs to present their innovative ideas for products, services and technologies to local entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals.  The competition is open to currently enrolled students from any university in the state of New Mexico.

In the initial round, 41 student teams from the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State submitted video pitches.  Judges chose 11 finalists who pitched their innovations in 60-90 second presentations in the final round at Bow & Arrow.  The audience voted for one audience choice award of $1,000.  A panel of judges (entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals) chose four finalists for a judges’ choice award of $750 each.  Below is the list of winners:

Audience Choice Award ($1,000 prize)

  • Jonathan Yarmey, Trident Bionics, a completely redesigned intubation device (graduate student, Biomedical Engineering, UNM)

 Judges’ Choice Award ($750 each)

  • Audriana Stark and Franchesca Castillo, Wild Woman Kombucha Company, a healthy, fermented tea, known as kombucha (graduate student, Organization, Information and Learning Sciences, UNM)
  • Mercedes Ortega-Kennedy, Tiny Touch Neonatal Vital Monitor, a noninvasive, reusable, durable medical device for monitoring neonatal vitals  (undergraduate, Liberal Arts & Integrative Studies, UNM)
  • Jason Boxum, Parental Values LLC, a commercial-grade, mobile-management app for parents, teachers and students (undergraduate, Business Administration, UNM)
  • Ginger Wright and Lauren Martinez, Envision, a digital platform (app & website) for students to optimize their university resources through advanced customization (undergraduates, Business Administration, UNM)

 STC and the Innovation Academy wish to thank the following panel of judges:  Mark Chavez, CEO of Lens, Mathis Shinnick, CEO of OptiPulse, Kyle Guin, Marketing Lead of Lens and CEO of Shutter Bombs, and Dean Ladell, Managing Partner, Global Management Partners.   

A big thank you also to the sponsors for the event:  Bow & Arrow Brewing, Nusenda Credit Union and UNM’s Center for Biomedical Engineering.