The fifth annual student pitch competition and career fair, known as the Santa Cruz Launchpad, was held last week at the UC Santa Cruz Hay Barn. Nearly 500 people attended the event organized by UCSC Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development and the Center for Innovation and Business Engagement in partnership with Santa Cruz Works.
The pitch competition brought together 19 teams of UCSC students, who each had five minutes to present their pitches to the judging panel, made up of UCSC alumni and community members. Students presented innovative business plans aimed at solving a myriad of problems in different industries, including environmental resource management, technology, transportation, and healthcare. Prizes were awarded to the top four teams, three of which included students from the Baskin School of Engineering.
Congratulations to the winners of the Santa Cruz Launchpad 2022 pitch contest:
1st place, $10,000
Spot, a transit tracking system that allows users to digitally track different buses to help reduce overall travel time.
Team Members: Rohan Tuli (Information Technology and Management), Jonathan Morris (IT), Ishan Madan (IT), Eliot Wachtel (Robotics Engineering), and Aron Brunkhurst (IT). All members are part of the UCSC Slugbotics team.
2nd place, $8,000
Yectasonics, inexpensive ultrasound technology for medical and non-medical applications.
Team led by Navid Gougol, professor at UC Berkeley
3rd place, $6,000
Forward, a monetary system based on blockchain technology to better manage risk and enable increased capital flow to emerging markets.
Team Members: Kamil Kisielewicz (Computer Science) and Shivansh Rustagi (Computer Science, Minor in Statistics)
4th place, $4,000
BioGenesis, a machine learning-based product that uses patient data (symptoms and genetic information) and patient medical records to determine treatment plans.
Team members: Edward Fisher (economics) and Martin Michalko (computing)
Representatives from 25 local businesses from sectors such as technology, health and sustainability were on hand to help recruit for more than 400 vacancies.
“We appreciated the structure of students having the freedom to navigate and have meaningful conversations about their career goals,” said Marisa Bush, recruiter at PayStand.
Jory Miranda, another recruiter at the event representing Bay Federal Credit Union, said, “We had a ton of attendees and young professionals stopping by our booth. One of the best recruiting events we have attended.
For more information about Launchpad 2022, please visit this Santa Cruz Works webpage.