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VR business wins first Launch contest

ORU’s Stovall Center for Entrepreneurship Launch Competition has officially come to a close. After four challenging months of brain sessions and meetings, one team was crowned victor and took home the prize of $2,500 on Feb. 22. The competition started off with 22 teams and worked its way to the final six teams that presented their final pitches before an audience of peers and investors.

The business that swept the judges off their feet is called TeleportED. Created by Trevor Ellis and Isaac Rowaiye, TeleportED is “a virtual reality reading app for children ages five to nine to practice their reading as a part of their homework.” Using virtual reality goggles, a child reads aloud the words on display and may venture through unlocked doors, with each correct answer, to explore various virtual environments.

“Without this competition, we would’ve done 10% of what we got to do. We wouldn’t have been here without Jim Stovall, without the Center for Entrepreneurship and without the competition,” Ellis told ORU news.

In second place, a group of four presented the Combine Sports Network and received the sum of $1,500. This Network is “a membership-based platform that connects American Coaches with national and International athletes.” All four members, Thiago Dos Santos, Mark Omokaro, Nate Stordahl and Emmanuel Nzekwesi, are international students who hope to provide athletes around the world a chance to receive the same chances and opportunities by cheaper and more efficient means.

“We have gained a lot of experience [through the competition],” said Dos Santos. “Our vision for [the] company and its future is way better and clearer.”

TRAINR took third place and $1,000 in the competition with members Joshua MacPhee, Elliot Csipkes, Katie Barnet and Kyle Milroy as the leader.

TRAINR is “a web and app platform that helps personal trainers and health coaches connect with clients and manage their business more efficiently and effectively.” TRAINR is also a community for consumers where they can search for high-quality trainers in their area, set their fitness goals and meal plans and track their progress.

The idea came to Milroy when he started looking at the costs of becoming a certified personal trainer. Seeing the lack of chances and opportunities, Milroy had the idea to build a platform in which personal trainers could receive help managing their businesses as well as marketing their services.

“The competition has  given us a newfound appreciation for entrepreneurs who have gone through the process and are willing to share their experiences with us,” said MacPhee.

The remaining finalists included the #LocalHelp app that connects service providers with nearby clients, founded by CEO Cyrus Johnson, Dominique Odens, Allen Deibert and Wyatt Cooper, eco-friendly lawn mowing business called Turf Tigers, founded by Camden Swan and Kris Matsson, and the remaining team, Swift Delivery, a peer-to-peer delivery network founded by Garrett Hindsley, Helena Harper and Chungman Won.

“These are not just ideas or concepts. These are businesses that these students are starting, whether they win our competition or not,” Jim Stovall told ORU News. “Three of the 10 largest companies in the world were started in somebody’s dorm room. The best is yet to come.”