StartupUNO, the University of New Orleans’ inaugural idea accelerator and pitch competition for students, awarded a total of $10,000 in prizes to the top finishers in the Privateer Pitch. Four teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges which selected the winner.
The contest was organized by The Beach at UNO, the University’s 30-acre research and technology park located adjacent to campus, and UNO Career Services.
The teams had the opportunity to win three prizes during the Nov. 16 competition: a $7,000 grand prize, a $2,000 runner-up prize, and a $1,000 audience favorite award, awarded to the team that receives the most votes from the audience
After intense deliberation, judges selected team Automatic as the grand prizewinner. The team also was the recipient of the audience favorite award.
The winning idea was the Automatic app, software using artificial intelligence that can track your basketball shots and give motion feedback using the accelerometer and gyrometer in a watch. The app can track shots using custom AI and then provide user feedback based on metrics, including shot angle, shot speed and shot flick.
Automatic team members include Andrew Bradford, a first-year student at UNO studying marketing and Julien Bourgeois, a senior at Haynes Academy School for Advanced Studies, who is taking dual enrollment computer science courses at UNO.
SISYPHUS, a climate tech startup founded in part by Hoang Tao, UNO doctoral student in urban studies, earned a $2,000 runner-up prize.
The pitch competition, which was open to all University of New Orleans students, provided entrepreneurial training and mentorship to the teams. The Innovation and External Affairs team at The Beach will continue working with the teams and connecting them to additional resources to help move their idea to the market.
The competition will be held again next fall.