X-LAB Winners Have Potential to Improve Lives

Ten Winners Announced for 2011 in the Xavier Launch-a-Business Competition | August 30, 2011

Products and services that would make dental visits shorter, entertain fans at sporting events, educate investors about the stock market and provide consumers with healthier food are among the winners of the 2011 Xavier Launch-a-Business Competition.
There’s even an innovation in underwear that would make it easier for boys to use the restroom.
X-LAB, a pioneering economic development program, honored 10 winners today during an event in Smith Hall, home of the Williams College of Business, which runs X-LAB. Now in its second year, X-LAB 2011 received 146 applications, and picked the winners using a rigorous evaluation process that included in-depth questionnaires and interviews. Faculty, MBA students and business executives selected the winners.
“We again had an outstanding group of entrepreneurs compete in the X-LAB Competition,” said Professor Joseph Carter, who heads X-LAB. “We had a difficult time narrowing our applicants down to just 10 winners. We could have selected twice as many outstanding winners.”
The winners and their businesses are:

  • Courtney Tudor of Madeira; Mr. Bigshot, an online stock market game.
  • Adam Treister of Norwood; Student Designed, connecting students with real-world work.
  • Dr. David Croop of Anderson Township and Don Carter of Erlanger; DC2 Technologies, advanced dental instrument.
  • Mary Fennell of Independence; Easy Peez, innovative boys’ underwear.
  •  Doug Moormann of Kenwood, Chip Gerhardt of Anderson Township and Jim Benedict of Oakley; Development Strategies Group, economic development consulting.
  •  Djibril Thiaw of Reading; Senfacture, an online method for paying overseas bills.
  •  Brett Elkins of Miami Township, Clermont County and Mike Buob of Union Township Clermont County; GameDay Advantage Technologies, mobile device applications for sports teams.
  •  Candace Klein of Over-the-Rhine; SoMoLend, peer-to-peer lending technology.
  •  Brad Rogers of Madeira; Urban Harvest, high-yield farming in cities.
  •   Brendan Cmolik of Lakewood, Ohio, Wyatt Link of Bryan, Ohio and Sean Zavoda of Strongsville, Ohio; Green City Cuisine, locally grown organic food truck.

The winners will receive free consulting services, a meeting with potential investors and other support. The winners and 25 finalists also will be eligible to attend 15 workshops to teach them how to create business plans.
In addition, the winners will receive free legal advisory services from Dinsmore & Shohl, one of the region’s largest law firms. Dinsmore & Shohl, which is based in Cincinnati, has more than 450 attorneys in the Midwest.
The winners also will receive free accounting and tax advisory services from Joseph Decosimo and Co., one of the nation’s top 100 CPA firms. Decosimo has more than 300 employees in nine offices in the Midwest, Southeast and Cayman Islands.
X-LAB is different than other entrepreneur competitions because its primary benefit is sharing its business expertise. Many entrepreneur competitions offer cash prizes but little business expertise.
No other Greater Cincinnati economic development program has such extensive resources as X-LAB. X-LAB draws on the College’s 65 faculty members, 500 executives affiliated with the College and nearly 1,000 MBA students to help the winners.
In addition to benefitting entrepreneurs, X-LAB has benefited the College’s students. The College created an MBA course in which students act as consultants to the X-LAB businesses.
The applications were judged on three primary factors: the viability of the ideas, the potential of the entrepreneurs and whether the capabilities of X-LAB and the business ideas are a good match. The business and nonprofits also need to be able to grow or make a significant impact regionally or nationally.
Dr. Stafford Johnson, the College’s interim dean, acknowledged the people and organizations behind X-LAB. “As we move into our second year, the success of X-LAB is due to the tremendous support, hard work and vision of the Castellini Foundation, former Dean Ali Malekzadeh, Professor Joseph Carter, Professor George Gordon, College Executive Advisor Barbara Henshaw and many faculty members, staff, students and business executives.”
More information about X-LAB is available at www.xavier.edu/xlab.

The Williams College of Business, one of three colleges at Xavier University in Cincinnati, is ranked as one of the nation’s best business schools for teaching entrepreneurship. It also has been recognized for its outstanding MBA programs. More information is available at www.xavier.edu/williams.

Media contacts:
Elliot Grossman, 513-240-9801; grossmane@xavier.edu; Professor Joseph Carter, 513-745-2957, carterj1@xavier.edu.