2023 Regnier College Startup Awards

First Place – $15,000: ChiChi – Chiara Munzi, Isabelle Gorton (Washington University in St. Louis)
ChiChi creates on-the-go, delicious breakfast made of chickpeas, instead of high-carb oats and sugary breakfast foods that cause a sugar crash. Our first product is instant chickpea oatmeal. It comes in three flavors and contains twice the amount of protein and 33% fewer carbs compared to regular oats, without any processed ingredients. Active, health-conscious millennials and Gen-Z, and high-income mothers on a diet are our main target customers. After starting in September 2022, we have grown rapidly, with a current $2k/month D2C sales rate and plans to expand production this summer to keep up with demand.

Second Place – $10,000: King of the Curve – Heath Rutledge-Jukes, William Kelly (Washington University in St. Louis)
“King of the Curve (KOTC) aims to transform student stress into success. KOTC seeks to help students score top marks on rigorous standardized exams with an engaging, fun, affordable mobile app. Test prep is tedious and expensive, and these two problems lead to people spending thousands on an isolating product like a question bank.

Our adaptive model incorporates pedagogical research, in-depth explanations, videos, and images to become the gold standard in the pre-health field.

We have successfully helped over 10,000 students get into medical school, and we will not stop there.”

Third Place – $5,000: Xotu Jewelry – Adriana Suarez (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
Xotu Jewelry is an artisanal jewelry store that shares the heart of culture and identity through the stories delivered through handcrafted jewelry. It started as a tradition passed down by my father, then I expanded my knowledge of bead work through bead weaving techniques of the Huichol Mexican Tribe. Today I share little treasures meant to teach others to overcome the hardships of expressing multicultural identity in the modern day.

2023 James & Rae Block Kansas City Startup Awards

First Place – $17,500: Rings of Care KC – Nicole Staab, Rachel Blankenship
Rings of Care is a startup nonprofit focused on providing resources & care for caregivers. Our goal is to lighten the load of informal providers and work within their community of family & friends to support both the person in need of care and their caregivers.

Second Place – $12,500: Come on Now – Shelley Cooper Terry Oehrke
25% of medical appointments are no-shows resulting in discontinuity of care for medically fragile patients and $16B in lost revenue for clinics. Come On Now software replaces no-show and late cancellation appointments with on-demand telehealth visits. Patients are notified of openings in the clinic’s schedule and see their doctors sooner. Federally qualified health centers serve low-income Medicaid patients who statistically suffer from more chronic diseases and lack access to consistent healthcare. Come on Now is patent pending, secure and follows HIPAA compliance guidelines.

Third Place – $2,500: Venboo – Juaquan Herron, Rodney McDuffie
Venboo is a tech platform that allows small businesses to locate and book community markets, tradeshows, and fair booths to sell and/or market their products. It also allows event directors to create community markets within our marketplace to book to proper vendors for their events.

Honorable Mentions

Outstanding Creative Enterprise Award – $2,500: Yhari – Yhari Gray (University of Missouri-Kansas City)
“Yhari is a luxury fashion brand that creates statement pieces that embody quality, craftsmanship, and a commitment to positive change. Our mission is to empower customers to feel confident, beautiful, and unstoppable while making a positive impact on the world. We believe in promoting human rights and giving back to communities.

Outstanding undergraduate Venture Award – $2,500: Solutoy – Ako Hamaamin, Noah Strodtman (University of Missouri¬-Columbia)
Solutoy incorporates creative solutions with creative products. At present, we have developed two unique products, and we are constantly striving to create more. Our current priority is the Electric Cat, a patent-pending anti-theft device for catalytic converters. We disable the blade and blare the alarm the moment a thief tries to saw into our product. It is impossible to cut through our technology with a metal blade.

Outstanding Social Venture Award – $2,500: Vi Sinh Xinh – Alyssa Lại (Iowa State University)
“Vi Sinh Xinh means “”beautiful microbes”” in the Vietnamese language. It’s these beneficial microbes that allow our customers to ferment food scraps to keep them in homes over a long period without smell. Once these fermented food scraps are buried in soil, it’s the microbes again who transform garbage into soil gold. Our business is a double-sided marketplace providing branded “”bokashi service and supplies”” to urban families, then reselling their fermented food waste product to organic farmers in bulk as fertilizer and a soil developer which has shown to increase organic matter up to 1.5% per yearly application.”