Students compete for $100K entrepreneur prize

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usd competitionSAN DIEGO — Teams of college students will display their innovations to investors from the U.S. and Mexico Thursday at the University of San Diego.

Four teams from USD and three from Mexico will each get seven minutes to make pitches at the annual V2 Entrepreneur Competition, with a total of $100,000 in venture capital at stake. V2 stands for “venture vetting.”

According to USD, 62 teams signed up for the event, up from 38 last year.

Those taking part today are the finalists. Among their creations are Rixolix, an app for realtors to increase word-of-mouth referrals, make more money and maintain communication lines with their clients; FundPal, a patent- pending solution for nonprofits to accept donations via Twitter; and Alumnify, a location-based professional networking application enabling communication between mutually interested alumni.

“These entrepreneurs represent the future growth and innovation of our economy and we look forward to helping create more success stories with our annual competition,” said USD School of Business Administration professor Michael Lawless, the founder of the competition. “Having the students from Mexico realizes our vision at USD that entrepreneurship is regional and extends across our near border.”

Last year’s biggest prizewinner — 2013 USD graduate Morgan Schwanke — was awarded $15,000 to fund, an online service to help students find off-campus housing. In six months, he has received a total of nearly $1 million in funding and hired a team of employees, according to school officials.

Judges for the U.S. side of the competition are Allison Long Pettine, president of the venture capital firm Crescent Ridge Partners; Tom Breitling, co-founder and chairman of Ultimate Gaming; and Navid Alipour, partner in Analytics Venture.

Mexican judges are Alberto Osio, founding member of Angel Ventures Mexico; Ricardo Dos Santos, chief business officer of Biological Dynamics; and Ramon Toledo, president and CEO of Busca Corp., a Spanish language entertainment provider.

A call for projects was sent to students at the Universidad Cetys, Universidad Tecnologica de Tijuana, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California and Comite de Incubadoras del Municipio.

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