Twelve student startups from across Missouri are converging in Columbia on Friday to pitch their businesses and compete for a share of $30,000 in cash prizes.
All 12 startups finished in the top three of pitch contests held last month at the UM System’s four campuses, where winners also earned a share of $30,000.
Read more: Meet the other student entrepreneurs of the EQ Student Accelerator
Missouri Business Alert got some face time with the student founders to learn more about their businesses and backstories.
Here’s a look at the three winning startups from the University of Missouri in Columbia:
Libby Martin, Calving Technologies
Libby Martin, a veterinary medicine student from California, Missouri, grew up on a cattle farm. Her farm lost several calves one season for reasons including a calf rolling into a pond and a calf that just couldn’t be found.
“I was like, ‘Surely this is preventable,'” said Martin, 23. “So I basically started calling vets and farm stores, and no one had a suggestion. So that’s when I was like, ‘Maybe we can figure this out and make a solution on our own.”
Martin’s solution is Calving Technologies, which is developing what Martin describes as a sort of “fitbit” for calves. Her device will detect vital signs in cows so that farmers know when they are about to give birth and can call at vet if it’s necessary.
Teanna Bass: Sweet Tea Cosmetics
Teanna Bass has been running Sweet Tea Cosmetics out of a storefront in the MU Student Center since September. But as her graduation date quickly approaches, she wants to take the next step for her business.
The goal of Sweet Tea Cosmetics is to provide the beauty wants and needs for minority customers. Her company provides beauty services and sells beauty products.
She hopes the EQ Student Accelerator competition will provide her with the next step to move her business forward.
Clay Cary: Infoproduct
Clay Cary, a 22-year-old senior from St. Louis, wanted to take a class on how to be a successful Amazon seller, but he wasn’t sure if it was worth the $500 to $2,000 cost of the classes available. After searching around on the internet, he wasn’t able to find any reviews. He didn’t end up buying the class.
This problem kept rolling around in his head and, through completing keyword searches, Cary saw that others were also wary of private online classes.
From that, his startup Infoproduct.com was born. His site acts as a third-party review site for online classes that he compares to sites like Yelp.com.