Lexington, KY (July 23, 2021) - The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the 2nd Annual"Wildly Possible" Virtual Startup Contest on July 23, 2021, in which only the Top 5 finalists were selected out numerous applicants across the state of Kentucky. These top finalists were teams ZKaka, Rave on Sports, My Vocal Health, Fresh Eyes Solutions, and ReBegin. We're proud to announce the rank of these top five teams, and look forward to keeping up with the progress of their companies. We'd like to thank the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise for sponsoring these awards for the second year.
“ISFE was delighted to support the 2nd Annual Wildly Possible Virtual Contest. Entrepreneurship is the engine of the free enterprise system, so supporting VACE’s programs is a natural fit with ISFE’s mission of discovering and understanding how free enterprise affects people’s lives and the well-being of society. Congratulations to the winners!” - Dr. Charles Courtemanche, Associate Professor and Director of the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise
1st place - $5,000 - Fresh Eyes Solutions
FreshEyes Solutions is a business-to-business technology company creating a fragrance sampling kiosk to increase sales for the fragrance industry by engaging consumers where they are. Kelly Wright is the CEO. She has 10 years experience as an analytical chemist and 4 years as a software developer. The chemical background guides material selections for the Scentple Kiosk. Her experience as a software developer allows her to lead the efforts to create the user interface for the kiosk, the fragrance dashboard for corporate customers, and the data analytics. Demonstrating her project management skills, Kelly led an all day STEM event (Youth Science Summit) for 180 middle and high school students. She managed five volunteer committees, expanded the event with new innovations, and doubled participation. Kelly led two teams through Lexmark’s Entrepreneurial Challenges, winning one of these. The winning concept moved forward to earn four new patents. During these processes, she has received mentoring in business and entrepreneurship.
2nd place - $4,000 - Rave On Sports
Rave On Sports has a mission to provide dedicated sports fans with the best mobile app to enhance their experience as fans, at home or in the stadium. Using a unique engagement and interactive features, Rave On aims to dominate the fan’s second screen presence during live events, in the stadium, or their homes. By growing the fanbase, Rave On will use targeted ad placement, deep linking, merchandise, and sports gambling commissions to begin our revenue streams. Rave On seeks to build out a unique and more profound fan engagement options in the app to attract and monetize “premium” customers in the future. The Rave On team consists of James Clark - President and CoFounder, Brittany Harris - Vice President and CoFounder, Rick Baker - CoFounder, Jeff Atkisson - CoFounder, and Harry Lockstadt - CoFounder, Principal owner.
James has a Master's degree in Sports Leadership and Management with over a decade of work in the sports operations field, including being a collegiate athlete, strength and conditioning coach, and logistics and operations assistant for international events. Brittany has over 15 years in sales and marketing focusing on social media marketing. Rick Baker is a tech entrepreneur and inventor, and former Chief Executive Officer of ECorporation Inc., leading a venture-backed Internet incubator headquartered in Lexington, KY between 1999 and 2005. Baker is currently developing several cloud and mobile applications, including MYORLINK.com, a surgical workflow platform for major hospitals that works on Web, Tablet, and Mobile. He is currently CEO of Techstreet.ai, focused on AI and Machine Learning projects. Jeff Atkisson played basketball for the University of Manchester First Team. He spent most of his career as a venture capitalist, merchant banker, and entrepreneur. Mr. Atkisson is the founder of Pediatric Homecare of America and the cofounder of Regal Cinemas and AmStar Cinemas.
3rd place - $3,000 - ReBegin
ReBegin™ was founded to address the growing issues of discarding textiles in landfills. The goal is to provide a personalized upcycling service that enables customers to use their clothing in a circular rather than linear process. The mission is to upcycle unused fabrics such as sheets, clothing and blankets, then repurpose them into attractive, contemporary clothing. ReBegin’s core values include: community ecosystems, family prioritization, economic opportunity and environmental consciousness. ReBegin™ was inspired by the environmental phenomenons that took place around us during the pandemic.
The ReBegin™ team is composed of Phoenix Staten and Adonis Logan. Phoenix Staten is a sophomore New Horizons Scholar at Centre College studying Anthropology/Sociology and Linguistics. She spearheads the design and sewing logistics along with revenue operations. Adonis Logan brings experience from his former startup Nonstop Duty; a t-shirt designing business. He is a junior Posse Scholar at Centre College majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Economics.
4th place - $2,000 - My Vocal Health
MyVocalHealth is an iOS based smartphone application devised for the delivery of voice therapy. Unlike current apps in the market that focus on the delivery of speech and swallowing interventions; MyVocalHealth is the only app of its kind that focuses on the delivery of highly effective, and a strongly evidence-based treatment for voice disorders. The developers of MyVocalHealth have successfully completed laboratory testing (beta-testing) of the app in individuals. Results from laboratory testing demonstrated improved adherence to home-practice with app use. Following the completion of betatesting, the team has also completed a clinical trial in individuals with voice disorders to assess the real-world impact of app use. Vrushali Angadi is the Founder of MyVocalHealth (MVH) and works at The University of Kentucky as a clinical researcher and speech-language pathologist specializing in voice disorders. She designed and implemented clinical trials related to MVH. Dr. Angadi also completed The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 1.0 and 2.0 program (Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 consecutively) at UK in order to expand her expertise in marketing and commercialization. Dr. Ming- Yuan Chih is an expert in mHealth-based technology. Dr.Chih, in collaboration with Dr. Angadi, was responsible for developing the current prototype/MVP of MyVocalHealth, which was part of the beta-testing study and is currently being used in a second clinical trial.
5th place - $1,000 – ZKaKa
ZKaKa (pronounced zinkaka) supports sustainable local food systems by connecting farmers with consumers through an online platform (web and phone app). Our mission is to allow local farmers to have a fair price and more income for their products and consumers to have their choice of fresh and locally grown foods. ZKaKa’s strategy is to use a platform economy to facilitate interactions between farmers and consumers. Farmers through direct marketing sell their products on the platform where consumers buy them. ZKaKa does not own any farm but serves as a broker between suppliers and consumers for a commission. ZKaka is led by Dr. Abdelaziz Lawani, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agriculture at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). Dr. Lawani has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Lawani teaches a range of agribusiness classes at EKU. He also has extensive research activities that lie at the interactions of Agribusiness, Development & Environmental Economics, and Machine Learning.
Anna Liisa Ihuhwa is a specialist in online marketing. She has a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from Old Dominion University. She is the Managing Director of Youth and Gender-Based Violence (YGBV) where she worked on reducing gender-based violence (GBV) by means of creating awareness and educating youth about the causes and effects of GBV. Since 2013, she is in charge of the marketing operations of Global Partners, a startup that develops and uses drones solutions in agriculture, urban planning, and for biodiversity conservation. Mrs. Ihuhwa will bring her marketing experience to ZKaKa.