For immediate release…
Tuesday – May 6, 2014
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. - A team from the inaugural class of the Northern Kentucky University INKUBATOR won the 5 Across business pitch competition held in Lexington last week.
Gary Darna, an 2012 alumnus of the NKU Haile/US Bank College of Business, and graduating College of Informatics senior Jamie Rump won for their presentation of CompleteSet, the company they co-founded in 2012.
CompleteSet is a web and mobile app that helps collectors find the items they want most by providing a collector-curated archive of collectibles from fans’ favorite brands. Members earn points for contributing items to the archive, helping them to build credibility in their respective collecting community. Using CompleteSet, collectors catalog what they have and want to help them purchase the collectibles they’re missing. Darna and Rump have registered thousands of collectors and fans from 31 countries and won the annual Cincinnati Innovates contest. This summer they plan to release their first iPhone App.
CompleteSet received a cash prize of $500, a spot in the 5 Across finals in December, and the opportunity to present at the next Lexington Venture Club meeting on May 14. 5 Across is an informal gathering of entrepreneurs, investors, and service providers in Lexington hosted by Awesome, Inc. Each 5 Across meeting features presentations from area entrepreneurs who pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. There were five companies competing at the April 30 event, including an aspiring entrepreneur from the University of Kentucky and another boasting seven degrees. Each company was given five minutes to pitch their idea.
“I thought that the presentation was well thought through,” said Eric Hauck, one of the 5 Across judges. “They understood the market, they did have a revenue stream that they understood, and at this stage it was the most complete.”
The INKUBATOR was founded by Dr. Rodney D’Souza, director for the NKU Entrepreneurship Center and assistant professor of management. The program aims to increase the competitive advantage for NKU students by providing them with education, mentoring, financing, facilities, and other related resources necessary for a successful entrepreneurial startup process.
The NKU Entrepreneurship Center is a driver of educational and professional development opportunities to all NKU students. The center has a transdisciplinary focus and seeks to advance the university’s strategy by fostering cross-campus applied learning and embedding innovative thinking more deeply in the university culture. The center is built on the belief that students from the arts and sciences, engineering, nursing, business, informatics, and law can all learn from one another how to become more well-rounded innovative and creative thinkers. The center fosters opportunities for this transdisciplinary applied learning to occur.
### NKU ###
Follow NKU news on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nkuedu.