Students win a combined $25,000 at Venture Challenge
Frosted wins $8,000 top prize
Updated 19 hours ago | McKenzie Womack
Student-made company Frosted, which sells gourmet cupcakes, won the top prize at Friday’s Venture Challenge hosted by the LSU Student Incubator.
The Student Incubator, a program of the Louisiana Business and Technology Center, is a place for students to create their jobs and businesses and hire other students, said LBTC Director Charles D’Agostino. Four students with their own businesses won a combined $25,000.
“We educate you, but there are no jobs here. You go where the jobs are. We lose you. We lose the income you make, the taxes and everything else. By starting the Student Incubator, we’re doing our share to eliminate this brain drain.”
All of the 44 student companies at the Student Incubator had a chance to make it to the final four, but only four can receive the money, D’Agostino said.
Kyle Anderman, the owner of Frosted, won $8,000. He hopes to buy a cupcake truck and install a cupcake vending machine on the University’s campus.
Anderman, an entrepreneurship senior, started the business in February 2012. He said they turned a profit the first year, and students have helped make the business successful.
“We’ve been super busy. The majority of our clients have been students. I just want to thank everybody,” Anderman said.
D’Agostino said the Student Incubator is helping to prevent a “brain drain.”
“We educate you, but there are no jobs here. You go where the jobs are. We lose you. We lose the income you make, the taxes and everything else. By starting the Student Incubator, we’re doing our share to eliminate this brain drain,” D’Agostino said.
Mark Moss and his company Rock Water won $7,000. Rock Water is a powder formula that can be mixed with water to help prevent kidney stones.
The majority of the money will be spent running clinical and efficacy trials at Pennington Biomedical Research Center to ensure the product’s effects will do what they say it will do, Moss said.
“The incidence of kidney stones is on the rise, primarily due to obesity. The real focus has shifted from treatment to actually preventing them, but preventive measures are not very effective. … Because of the adverse side effects, patient compliance is ridiculously low,” Moss said.
Rock Water reduces the adverse side effects but still effectively prevents the formation of kidney stones, he said.
Moss, who is graduating from the University’s Master of Business Administration program in May, said the target audience is people who have had several kidney stones.
“Once you form a kidney stone, the chance of reoccurrence is potentially up to 80 percent within 10 years. Once you’ve had multiple, you may be looking at ways of preventing them,” he said.
Lauren Stuart, a University alumna, and her business partner William Wagner also won $7,000 for their business Econofy.
Econofy is a device that lets people monitor their electricity usage and shut off outlets to lower the cost of utilities. It is also an appliance shopping guide.
Stuart said they plan to produce the first scaled prototype of the device.
“We’re hiring another incubator member that has special equipment to print out small microchips for us. We should have a little bit for a promotional video,” Stuart said.
The fourth competitor, Gary Shuford, who founded Supedup Auto, a mobile vehicle cleaning and detailing service, won $3,000.
Thirty-five companies have graduated from the Student Incubator, D’Agostino said.
“They’re staying in the area. All of those are hiring other people. It’s making an impact. We feel that in the next two or three years, the Student Incubator program might be employing 300 or 400 people. That’s 300 or 400 people who might have left the state,” he said.