The top prize in the 2015 Olin Cup competition was awarded to Love Will Inc., a developer of virtual currency-based financial tools, at an awards ceremony held Jan. 29 at Washington University in St. Louis.
The company is operated by four 2014 Washington University graduates. Love Will Inc. is a software development company focused on blockchain-based financial applications. It is developing a peer-to-peer transaction application that enables businesses and individuals to make instant, low-cost international money transfers to and from almost any country in the world.
Love Will was selected from a pool of finalists vying for the Olin Cup, which was founded at the Olin Business School in 1987 and expanded in 2003 to recognize outstanding new ventures created by Washington University students, faculty and alumni from all schools.
The competition is sponsored by the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Olin Business School. It represents the center’s threefold-mission: to invite Skandalaris program participation from all disciplines; to provide high quality, realistic, practical entrepreneurial skills training; and to provide access to early stage seed capital to the university’s most promising entrepreneurs and innovations.
“The Olin Cup process is a perfect fit for the center’s mission to provide practical, real-world training to these promising Washington University entrepreneurs,” said Emre Toker, managing director of the Skandalaris Center. “The Olin Cup is a great beginning, and our teams have advanced and learned a great deal. We look forward to continuing to mentor them to increase their invest-ability so they may secure funding leading to successful venture formation”
A total of 26 teams, which included Washington University alumni and current PhD and executive MBA students, entered this year’s competition. That number was narrowed to 21 semifinalists and eight finalists, three of whom also were recognized at the ceremony for finishing in a tie for second place:
- Applied Particle Technology, LLC — Provider of innovative, cost-effective air treatment and filtration solutions for specialty applications which require high efficiency removal of ultra-fine particles, inactivation of pathogens and/or removal of toxic fumes and odors.
- Dabble — Marketplace for classes in the community. Dabble serves as a means to explore one’s interests in a low-commitment, enjoyable way. Through its online marketplace at dabble.co, Dabble serves to connect people offline, all in the name of learning and exploration. Classes are held in person and range across topics, from Coding to Calligraphy and Graphic Design to Glassblowing and everything in between.
- HamStrong — Prosthetic hamstring device and intellectual property company. The device, combined with two workout protocols, (one for rehabilitation and one for injury prevention) dramatically reduces
the recovery time for those suffering from hamstring injuries, and when used in training can prevent injuries from even occurring.
In addition to a nominal monetary prize, the four top-performing teams will have the real-world opportunity to pursue further funding and mentor engagement by negotiating with the university for potential investment in the new venture.
Audience members at the ceremony were able to view posters and hear presentations from all eight finalists, followed by a reception to provide feedback to the teams and celebrate all team accomplishments.
Sponsorship for the Olin Cup competition comes from the law firm Polsinelli and accounting firm RubinBrown, as well as the Olin Business School and the Skandalaris Center, which was established in 2004 with a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Skandalaris.