A Grove City College student-built business will have the chance this week to win a $40,000 grand prize in the TCU Neely Values and Ventures Competition.
Resense, a venture created in class and fostered through the College’s Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation, is one of 42 teams of undergraduate entrepreneurs invited to compete as finalists in the national pitch contest at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Resense created and markets the Connect + Comfort Kit, an activity toolkit for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia that consists of multiple different restorative products designed to improve brain health, exercise the senses, and elicit long-term memories, according to junior Luke Gilligan, CEO and leader of the Resense team that includes juniors Megan Eisentraut and Logan Mays and sophomores Noah Iversen and Oliver Schwarz.
“We have worked with many leading experts who have either created or approved the products to be beneficial to those using them. Recently, we have launched a new product called the Resense Register, the nation's first research backed dementia friendly newspaper printed on real newspaper. We have seen great success with this product and have currently received inquiries from close to 100 care communities,” Gilligan said.
Gilligan, Mays, and Schwarz will represent the business at the Values and Ventures Competition, which stands out from other business plan competitions by focusing on for profit enterprises that specifically impact society in meaningful ways. Teams will have just 10 minutes to pitch their business plans before taking questions from judges to see which eight teams advance to the final round of the competition on Saturday. Prizes range from $40,000 to $1,000.
Resense is part of E+I's VentureLaunch cohort and was previously a VentureLab enterprise.
"This team has demonstrated dramatic improvement since their last pitch at TCU. From the launch of their dementia-friendly newspaper and finding product-market fit, it is clear that Resense means business this time around. I've been incredibly proud to work with the team from its inception and can't wait to see what the future holds for them. The sky is the limit," said E+I Campus Director Logan Hammerschmitt, who will accompany the team to Texas.
Gilligan and company have a solid record in pitch competitions on campus and around the country, according to E+I Executive Director and Professor of Entrepreneurship Yvonne J. English, who has been mentoring the team since the idea was pitched in her Lean LaunchPad class.
The company has been a national finalist in the Washington University of St. Louis’ Olin Business School’s BIG IdeaBounce contest, won 5th place and $10,000 at e-Fest (Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and EIX.org) at the University of St. Thomas, and placed Top 42 of the TCU Values and Ventures Competition in 2022. Resense earned second place and was a fan favorite in the 2021 Wolverine Venture Battle at Grove City College.
E+I’s VentureLab and VentureLaunch programs are designed to encourage and empower student entrepreneurs of any major at Grove City College.
VentureLab is an early-stage business and social enterprise idea feasibility lab that provides funding and guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs regarding the exploration and development of new ventures based on their own original concepts. It serves as a valuable starting point for innovation and enables entrepreneurs to gauge the feasibility of their ideas in a supportive environment.
The College’s VentureLaunch program affords student run businesses the opportunity to grow and explore new opportunities with the support of coaches, mentors, and pre-approved expense reimbursements. VentureLaunch teams must be ready to form a legal entity to be admitted to the program.
The TCU Neely Values and Ventures Competition is one of the nation’s premier undergraduate business competitions. The competition boasts distinguished judges and mentors from among seasoned entrepreneurs, investment professionals, CEOs, and others. Throughout the two-day event, students have opportunities to network with other like-minded students, faculty from across the globe, and successful entrepreneurs and business professionals.
Learn more about The Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation, visit gccentrepreneurship.com.