Congratulations to the finalists of the Annual UC Berkeley Startup Competition! I was thrilled to participate again for the third straight year as a coach for the competition. This year, my team was Modify Watches and I have to say that they were extremely prepared for the competition and since they are already profitable, this team was already a well-oiled machine. I’m sure everyone would agree that building and customizing your own watch to your fashionable liking and personality is very very cool!
So about the winners – they were all fantastic. What impressed me most about this year’s finalists is that they not only considered the environment in their products and solutions but that they also took the time to really evaluate how consumers are buying and wanting products. For example, Modify Watches was a finalist in the products and services and track and is currently selling customizable, interchangeable watches for consumers and plans to develop a platform for purchasing additional types of products that are also customizable for individuals.
Modify is a brand built on freedom of expression. Customizable for individual style, Modify’s interchangeable watches offer cool/hip design for anyday wear. Available in two different sizes and over 250 combinations, Modify is a brand made for anyone—anytime, these watches are available for corporate gifting or licensing.
The winner of the products/services track was Back to the Roots, a company that promotes sustainability and zero-waste, while reconnecting people to food through its grow-at-home mushroom kit. Their gourmet mushroom kits are made with 100% recycled (Peet’s – yes Peet’s would normally toss their coffee grounds but this startup is taking the grounds off their hands) coffee grounds, and produce 2 pounds of fresh oyster mushrooms in just 10 days! People of all ages can actually grow and eat their own mushrooms all at home, a unique experience in today’s urban lifestyle.
As for the Grand Prize winner of the competition, I have to give hats off to Calcuta Technologie. Calcula Technologies is developing a novel urological medical device for the removal of kidney stones outside of the operating room. Their patent pending technology will treat over 4 million patients per year in the US and in Europe. Impressive product!
Congratulations finalists and winners of this year’s Startup Competition! All these entrepreneurs should be applauded for their bold efforts to help the community and to really make lives better for consumers all around the world.
For more information on these finalists, go to the UC Berkeley Business Plan Startup page.