2013 – 2014 Winners
Eureka! Ventures Competition Series


$10,000 ($5,000 in funding and $5,000 in-kind)

Pierson Krass ’14: Krass & Co.
Founded in 2010, Krass & Co. is a high-end clothing company that specializes in “preppy” athletic wear, with clothing pieces that combine classic designs and comfortable materials. The company has nearly 50 wholesale accounts in addition to website purchase. Since inception well over 10,000 pairs of shorts have been sold.

Joan F. & John M. Thalheimer ’55 Student Entrepreneurs Competition


First Place – $7,500 ($2,500 in funding & $5,000 in-kind)

Matthew Sheffield ’17: Shady Eyedeas
Shady Eyedeas are fully interchangeable sunglasses. By changing the arms, frames, and lenses, customers can create over 25,000 combinations. With 15 choices for arms and frames and an additional five for lenses, Shady Eyedeas allows customers to easily design their own pair of sunglasses, whether they are in school colors or just a fun design, in a matter of seconds.

Second Place – $4,000 ($1,500 in funding & $2,500 in-kind)

Dean Kroker ’16, Greg Potter ’16: Endless Tone
Endless Tone, LLC is a free comparative website for those in the near-term market for purchasing a guitar. It analyzes guitar buyers’ preferences, recommends appropriate models, and directs them to the most economic retailer. It also provides manufacturers with unique insight to customer interactions.

Honorable Mentions$500 each

Tyler Edwards ’15: EduQuarium
EduQuarium is an aquaponics system and curriculum designed to teach sustainability and life cycles to elementary school children through a hands-on, kid-friendly approach including a fish bowl and hydroponically grown plants fertilized by water waste.

Dominique Brown ’14: RIND
RIND conceptualizes an aesthetically cohesive line of clothing that unifies environment, body, and garment structure by means of intelligent textile application. This project interpolates Frank Lloyd Wright’s theme of “organic architecture” to consider and assign similar relationships of clothing as habitable structural space. Each design shares the same elemental qualities of symbiotic, biomimic, and cultural influence, while incorporating responsive technology and addressing the issue of fit for women with athletic body builds. RIND’s formal collection release will be on April 25th, 2015.


First Place – $7,500 ($2,500 in funding & $5,000 in-kind)

Lisa Glover ’13 ’14G: ArchiTrep™: hive space
Hive space, an ArchiTrep™ product, captures the spirit of a new way of working by providing modular, flexible, movable work space to businesses looking to improve worker productivity, collaboration, and innovation, while adapting to daily needs. The space, which can be used indoors or out, can stand alone to provide privacy or be placed in groups to facilitate co-working and team projects.

Second Place – $4,000 ($1,500 in funding & $2,500 in-kind)

Daniela Kucher ’13 ’14G: Beylin
Beylin products are high-quality, durable hair clips that endure the dynamic lifestyle of the modern woman. Beylin clips are designed with minimal aesthetic, balancing reliability with style. The clips are designed and manufactured from sheet metal through a process of stamping, forming, and assembly. A woman who uses Beylin hair clips will never reach into her handbag again to unexpectedly find a broken or shattered hair clip.

Third Place – $3,500 ($1,000 in funding & $2,500 in-kind)

Gary Houk ’14G: Football Toolkit
For the dedicated fantasy football owner who wants a winning edge but doesn’t know the ins and outs of data analysis, Football Toolkit provides a customizable, easy-to-use online tool that employs rigorous statistical methods to allow owners to save time and make better decisions.

Honorable Mentions$500 each

Kimber-Lee Alston ’13 ’14G: Jolie Coquette
Jolie Coquette creates a new category of apparel for women: delicate daywear, which fuses comfort and style with soft fabrics hand-dyed with regional and chemical-free flower dyes. Jolie Coquette garments will soon be available at local retailers Loose Threads Boutique and Apotheca Spa & Salon.

Katharine Kriner ’14G: Kleine Biene Farm
Kleine Biene Farm aims to bring the slow-food movement of Europe to southeastern Pennsylvania through a brew-pub and farm experience that offers local food, organic produce, and small-batch beer in a farm/brewery setting. Customers will enjoy unique beers sourced locally and from the farm and seasonal culinary offerings.

Michael W Levin ’87 Advanced Technology Competition

First Place – $7,500 ($2,500 in funding & $5,000 in-kind)

Rami Khouri ’05 ’06G ’16G, Ravi Boppana ’16G: tmx
A sports tournament organizing solution aimed at promoters, tmx autogenerates and adjusts brackets, creating a fully automated tournament-running experience with increased scheduling and processing efficiency. Promoters can manage tournament results from any node, while fans and athletes can access information in real time using interactive kiosks.

Second Place – $4,000 ($1,500 in funding & $2,500 in-kind)

Keith Martin ’13 ’14G: IncuMagic
IncuMagic creates a writing implement that fits over the tip of a user’s finger. The one-size-fits-all device brings innovation to arts and crafts activities and can provide assistance for individuals who have difficulty grasping a conventional writing utensil because of physical conditions.

Third Place – $3,500 ($1,000 in funding and $2,500 in-kind)

Evan Aamodt ’13 ’14G, Andrew Rigotti ’13 ’14G: Valkyrie Truck Company
Valkyrie Truck Company was created to solve a problem faced by many downhill skateboarders. They seek adjustability in the angles of their baseplates but the solutions afforded to them are unattractive. Valkyrie Truck Co. solves this problem by manufacturing a baseplate that offers riders a low and consistent ride height throughout a range of popular angles.

Honorable Mentions – $500 each

MaryLeah DiNisco ’13 ’14G: BuddySystems: The BuddySystem
The BuddySystem is a communicative and responsive tool for teachers that allows them to better organize and manage large class sizes on field trips. When a teacher creates an authenticated user profile on the website, The BuddySystem’s mobile application can quickly alert the teacher and locate a student wearing The BuddySystem Bracelet if they have accidentally wandered away or been left behind. In case of emergency, student contact information is readily available at the teacher’s fingertips.

Fred Carter ’13 ’14G, Platte Gruber ’14G: Mad Scientist Coral
Mad Scientist Coral aims to create simple yet beautiful desktop coral aquariums housing environmentally friendly aquacultured coral that will also spread awareness of the dangers and environmental impacts of reef farming. The easy-to-maintain desk-scale aquariums can serve as hobbies, décor, or gifts.

Social Impact Venture Competition:


First Place – $3,000 ($1,500 in funding & $1,500 in kind)

Shannon Varcoe ’15: UP 2 U
UP 2 U creates a line of products and toys for children focusing on cognitive problems such as attention, reward respond, and executive functioning often experienced by children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Suitable for classroom or home use, the toys challenge children to build up the skills they struggle with most through online and physical components.

Second Place – $2,000 ($500 in funding & $1,500 in-kind)

E. Jake Puzycki ’14: Blank University
Blank University addresses the needs of many of the world’s poor who turn to the Internet to meet their educational needs and provide opportunities for themselves and their families. It harnesses the volunteer power of college students to create a platform where the Internet’s best resources are compiled, organized, and filtered, with these resources made available for free to the world’s populace.

Global Union Pitch Competition Winner – $250

Michael Lefkoe ’15, Matthew Sheffield ’17, Matthew Vine ’17: Nutri-Disk
The Nutri-Disk is an easy-to-use, inexpensive attachment for water pumps designed to fortify water with the essential vitamins and minerals needed to survive. The goal of this venture is to address the global issue of infant mortality by focusing on reducing malnutrition in Third World countries often caused by not having sufficient access to the important nutrients needed to live.


First Place – $4,000 ($2,500 in funding & $1,500 in-kind)

Linda Rentschler ’14G: Organizational Microfinance
This not-for-profit model improves the economic base of an organization by focusing U.S. dollars on low-risk deposit as collateral for microloans to stakeholders of the sponsoring organization. This novel blueprint for a fresh variation within the developing field of microfinance channels the profits of financing back into the sponsoring organization while reducing financial risk through the use of an established banking institution, mentoring for borrowers, and business education.

Second Place – $2,500 ($1,000 in funding & $1,500 in-kind)

Nadia Sasso ’14G: Royal Dynamite: Artisans Abroad Program “Color Couture”
The Artisans Abroad Program “Color Couture” plans to inspire teens to pursue their interests in art by providing a platform to use their artistic talents and begin entrepreneurial endeavors. It will facilitate entrepreneurial and artistic workshops via the Visao Foundation; create fashion tees via tie dye in Sierra Leone; share the program’s story; and sell items and use funds for artistic student business ventures.

LU Nominee: Davis Project for Peace – $10,000

Gelmar O. Moraga ’14G: Fresh Wheels
Fresh Wheels is a mobile supermarket that intends to sell affordable healthy foods to residents of four “food deserts” in Bethlehem and Allentown where residents often are low-income and practice unhealthy diets because of lack of access to healthy foods, leading to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

* In-Kind Prizes:
– $5,000 = Class “A” office space in the Baker Institute’s Student Incubator at Ben Franklin TechVentures for one year

– $2,500 = Dedicated co-working space in the Baker Institute’s Student Incubator at Ben Franklin TechVentures for one year

– $1,500 = Dedicated co-working space in the Baker Institute’s Innovation Loft in Chandler-Ullman Hall for one year

(Use of office and co-working spaces may continue until graduation if criteria are met.)

Winners will be honored at the Baker Institute’s Innovate! Celebrate! Awards Dinner in April 2014.

Our Vision and Promise
When creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are taught together ideas take shape; ideas when properly nurtured can lead to discovery, value creation, and a better tomorrow for all.