For immediate release…
Thursday – Dec. 11, 2014

A pair of startups that have completed the Northern Kentucky University Haile/US Bank College of Business INKUBATOR program took first and second place in the fifth annual 5 Across Finals business pitch competition in Lexington yesterday.

The championship and $4,000 grand prize was won by Gary Darna and Jaime Rump, both NKU graduates, for their presentation of CompleteSet, the company they founded in 2012. CompleteSet is a web and mobile marketplace that helps collectors find the items they want the most. It provides a collector-curated archive of products from fans' favorite brands. Avid collectors test their knowledge as fans, contributing detailed information about collectibles inspired by popular culture. Members use the archives to catalog their collections and hunt for their next prized possession.

Second place was won by Vegy Vida, a company founded by NKU alumnus Josh Young and entrepreneurship senior Jared Young. Vegy Vida is a patent-pending all-natural, low-fat veggie dip that encourages children to eat their vegetables by helping to block their bitter taste. The FDA-approved dip comes in a variety of flavors ranging from ranch to pepperoni pizza.

Each 5 Across event features presentations from area entrepreneurs who pitch their ideas to a panel of judges. Each company is given 5 minutes to pitch for the chance to win a cash prize. 5 Across is presented by Awesome Inc. five times per year with a sixth and final competition held in December. The 5 Across Finals event pits previous winners against each other as they compete for a $4,000 grand prize and the title as 5 Across champions.

The INKUBATOR is part of the Haile/US Bank College of Business Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It provides students from majors spanning the entire university with the education, mentoring, financing, facilities, and other resources needed to launch a successful startup. It was recently ranked one of the Top 5 university incubators in the world for competency development around web and mobile technology.

CompleteSet was part of the program’s inaugural 2012 class that has secured more than $1 million in investment funding. Vegy Vida was one of six startups to graduate from the INKUBATOR this year.

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