On May 24th, the University of Washington Foster School of Business Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship held its annual Business Plan Competition. The competition is open to teams that include students currently enrolled in a degree program in the state of Washington. Out of 101 teams that applied, the final round of judging by various local venture capitalists and entrepreneurs selected the winners.  UrbanHarvest (pictured below) won the grand prize of $25,000 as well as the Best Clean-Tech Idea (which came with a prize of $2,500).


UrbanHarvest, founded by two students from the Foster School of Business at the UW, plans to build out the first deployment of its rooftop, hydroponic greenhouse solution on a Redmond, Washington parking garage at Microsoft.  In the greenhouse, the company will grow lettuce and herbs for use in cooking on the Microsoft campus.  The company’s goals include reducing the fossil fuel burn of transporting produce from a distance while providing very fresh produce.


Second prize ($10,000) went to Xylemed for its cloud-based patient tracking system to manage hospital workflows—replacing those crowded white boards with screens showing the most current data, improving communication and safety. Xylemed was founded by students enrolled in the Foster School’s Technology Management MBA program.

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There were two Finalist Prizes ($5,000 each) that went to JoeyBra, a bra designed with a side pocket for small items (such as a thin cell phone, credit card, and/or driver’s license), founded by two Foster School undergraduate students, and Biking Billboards (pictured to the left), offering mobile advertising using billboards pulled by bicycles. The Biking Billboards team includes two Foster entrepreneurship program undergraduate students.


Other prize winners of the competition were:

  • Low-Income, Senior-Service Prize: Flash Volunteer ($3,000)
  • Best Technology Idea: EchoGuide Medical ($2,500)
  • Best Consumer Product Idea: GroBox ($2,500)
  • Best Innovation Idea: SuperCritical Technologies ($2,500)
  • Best Service/Retail Idea: ViewPointe ($2,500)
  • Best Sustainable Advantage Idea: Barrels of Hope ($2,500)

You can find descriptions of all 32 teams selected for the competition’s earlier Investment Round here and can learn more about the Business Plan Competition here.