Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy student entrepreneurs Jason Lin, Kenrick Lau and Jung Oh won first place and a $3,000 grand prize for their new business idea during the fifth annual IMSA TALENT Power Pitch at the MIT Enterprise Forum in Chicago.
During the Power Pitch, student finalists presented their ideas for a business, product or service to potential investors, competing for cash prizes made possible by the generosity of the late Virginia B. Cherry and additional supporters.
Winners for this year's competition included:
• First place and $3,000 -- IMSA students Jason Lin, Kendrick Laue and Jung Oh for Wiki Roster, a website to provide students with class rosters for networking, collaboration and transactions.
• Second place and $2,000 -- IMSA student Ethan Gorden for BEND, a method for harnessing an unlimited alternative energy source by generating electricity from undersea currents.
• Third place and $1,000 -- IMSA student David Park for tunesketch, an app that allows you to create a professional and unique song.
This year's competition was focused on technology businesses and featured a panel of distinguished judges from the Chicago business community, including Jose DeFranciso, director of marketing for cloud computing at Lucent; Bob Geras, president of LaSalle Investments; Josh Metnick, founder and chairman of Chicago.com Inc.; Tyler Spalding, co-founder of StyleSeek.com; and Hugh Musick, associate dean and director of executive education at Illinois Institute of Technology Institute of Design
The annual Power Pitch is the culminating event of the IMSA TALENT Program, which focuses on student entrepreneurship in a context of science, mathematics, engineering and technology. The TALENT program provides on-campus, off-campus and virtual learning experiences to help IMSA students and others in Illinois take a concept from idea to startup.
Featured speakers throughout the year have included a number of IMSA alumni entrepreneurs who have founded companies, including Spark Notes, OKCupid and GoPicnic.
The TALENT Program is supported by various individuals, corporations and foundations. If interested, contact Paul Milano at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 907-5989.
For students interested in a summer camp experience, IMSA will be hosting the TALENT UPgrade Experience July 8-26 for high school entrepreneurs who have a business idea they want to take to the next level. To apply and for more information, visit www3.imsa.edu/programs/SummeratIMSA.