Darden Names Winners From Third Annual Effectual De-risking Competition

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business and its Batten Institute announced on Friday the winners to the 2015 Effectual De-Risking Competition, a competition rooted in leading research around the principles of effectuation. Effectuation is a logic of thinking used by expert entrepreneurs to build successful ventures, developed by Darden Professor Saras Sarasvathy.

“Darden is unique to offer a competition that reinforces critical entrepreneurial behavior,” said Philippe Sommer, director of Darden’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “It’s based on Saras’ work; we understand how expert entrepreneurs build businesses, but more importantly, how they reduce risk. By offering this competition, we are helping students get that one step closer to launching a successful venture.”

A total of $5000 was awarded to the top winners, as well as $10,000 of in-kind legal services offered by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a premier provider of legal services to enterprises worldwide. The competition requires students to demonstrate that they have taken steps to de-risk their ideas. The winners are:

FIRST PLACE: GREENS TO GROUNDS BY WILLIAM HENAGAN

The next iteration of the traditional community supported agriculture, Greens to Grounds offers a series of products to both individual and institutional clients within a traditional university setting. These products include several different types of weekly boxes filled with locally sourced produce and artisanal products tailored to a University student’s culinary needs and abilities.

SECOND PRIZE: HIP HOP TYCOON BY NIPUN SING AND NAVEEN IYER

Hip Hop Tycoon is where rap meets the stock market. Similar to a virtual stock market game in which users invest fake money in real-life stocks, players invest in-game currency in upcoming rappers. The share value of each rapper is determined through an algorithm that tracks real-life commercial success. Players try to predict and invest in the next big musician in an effort to climb the leader boards and prove they have a good ear for upcoming talent. In the process, they also discover new rappers and learn more about their favorite artists.

THIRD PRIZE WINNERS: VOTERSCHOICE BY TARA RAJ AND GARRETT ALLEN; BLUE BOY BY NOAH VOGELSANG; SENSIBILITY CARE BY DASHA TYSHLEK AND ANISH DALAL

VotersChoice is a direct polling and analytics tool that connects government representatives and voters. It is a web and smartphone app that: 1) allows representatives on the local, state and national levels to send public opinion polls to their constituents and receive real-time, visual analyses on constituents’ views, and 2) provides voters with a quick and easy way to directly voice their opinions to their representatives.

Blue Boy offers a package of three integrated services: a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), a social media website and a digital training program. The MOOC, called Blue Boy™, consists of an English as a Foreign Language curriculum, focusing specifically on Spoken English for Chinese public elementary schools. The social media website, called Blue World, is a major tool of the MOOC, and the digital training program provides principals, department chairs, teachers and parents the knowledge and instructional design needed to successfully incorporate the integrated MOOC and social media website into their existing programs.

Sensibility Care improves patient adherence to non-weight bearing and provides doctors with actionable data through a three-part system, designed in-house by the Sensibility Care team of engineers: 1) sensor integrated into the cast and/or boot applied by clinician, 2) mobile application that displays data and sends the patient information about behaviors, and 3) a cloud platform for telemedicine subscription services.

Darden’s Effectual De-Risking Competition was held in February and was open to all U.Va. students. Participants were required to co-create their business concepts with self-selected stakeholders, demonstrating there are customers ready to buy their products and thereby reducing the risks associated with launching their new businesses.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

 

Press Contact

Sophie Zunz
Director of Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia
ZunzS@darden.virginia.edu
+1-434-924-7502