TransparentC Wins First Place in the 2016 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge

June 2, 2016

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago is pleased to announce the winners of the 20th Annual Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), a nationally top-ranked accelerator program in the nation.

Winners of the 2016 NVC include:

TransparentC, a network-based compensation sharing platform that allows users to understand their fair pay and visualize entire career paths, won first place and $90,000, including $20,000 for their acceptance into the Pritzker Group Venture Fellows Program this summer, $10,000 from OCA Ventures, and $10,000 from Origin Ventures. Their first platform, TransparentMBA, enables business professionals to make smarter career choices and matches employers with the right business talent.

Coronado Conservation, a company developing an innovative ultra-high-efficiency toilet that uses the power of air suction to flush, eliminating a significant amount of water needed for a toilet to operate without sacrificing performance, took home second place and $70,000, including $20,000 for their acceptance into the Pritzker Group Venture Fellows Program this summer, and the $10,000 Rattan L. Khosa, MBA '79, Maker Award. Coronado Conservation is building a better toilet for the future to support the conservation of our nation’s water resources.

Riviter, a website widget that uses pictures rather than words to improve search relevance on retail sites, won third place and $45,000, which includes $10,000 from OCA Ventures, and $10,000 from Origin Ventures. Unlike current technology, which relies on keywords manually tagged by retail employees, Riviter uses a patented computer vision algorithm that can automatically detect and relate hundreds of attributes from product images.

In fourth place, there was a tie between CostByte and Flag Analytics, both of which took home $20,000 each. CostByte is a software product that enables individual, group owned, and small chain restaurants to increase their bottom line by reducing operating costs. As part of their prize package, CostByte was awarded the Spiegel-Kadin Family Award for Entrepreneurship. Flag Analytics is a predictive analytics company focused on public safety. They have created a better early intervention system for police departments, to help them identify when an officer is at risk of having an adverse interaction with the public and apply that information to all aspects of police human resource management.

Ben and Frank, which brings fashionable and affordable eyewear to Mexico, placed sixth and won $15,000. By cutting intermediaries and mainly selling online, Ben and Frank manages to cut prices to a fraction of the big-name brands. 

Four very impressive finalists: Appiness, BeatBox, OurHealthMate, and WillowFlare each took home $10,000. Appiness, which won first place in the 2016 Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC), makes video content interactive by adding metadata in an automated way through its first app, Spott. BeatBox is a Chicago-based fitness company, offering group boxing classes in a high-end, boutique studio setting. Marketed primarily to women, Beatbox creates an environment that removes the intimidation factor from boxing, while providing a fun, highly effective way to get fit. OurHealthMate enables Indian expats to send home the gift of health. The online platform allows Indian expats to find verified doctors in India, book and pay for medical packages for their loved ones back at home, and receive direct feedback from doctors for complete assurance. WillowFlare is a crowdsourced market research and consulting company that helps Chinese mobile game companies enter the US market. WillowFlare gathers feedback and analytics from a panel of sophisticated, casual players, allowing the companies to make the changes necessary to their games for a successful entry.

The winning teams will also share in $785,000 of in-kind services including office space, legal services, and professional consulting.