2nd Annual UCI Blackstone LaunchPad ANTrepreneur Awards

2nd Annual UCI Blackstone LaunchPad ANTrepreneur Awards

The 2nd Annual UCI Blackstone LaunchPad ANTrepreneur Awards honored dedicated UCI entrepreneurs for their hard work throughout the year.

The night began with opening remarks from David Ochi, Executive Director of Blackstone LaunchPad, who welcomed the audience and described the format of the ceremony. “We have structured this event like an Oscars; in other words, there is not one ANTrepreneur of the Year Award that we just honor one person for being the best ANTrepreneur of the Year,” Ochi explained. “There’s a Best Movie but there’s also a lot of other awards, and that’s really designed to help you to see what other ANTrepreneurs are doing that really are outstanding efforts in areas of entrepreneurship.”

With over twenty-five award categories, Ochi and Blackstone LaunchPad Assistant Director Breanna Bremer alternated in introducing the different awards. Bremer and the Blackstone LaunchPad interns presented awards to the winners. In lieu of an acceptance speech, each winner gave a thirty second pitch describing their business to the audience of ANTrepreneurs, mentors, friends, and families. The event also recognized five ANTrepreneur advocates for their continued support of the Blackstone LaunchPad program and their pivotal roles in fostering entrepreneurship at UCI.

The ceremony culminated with the 2016 ANTrepreneur of the Year award which was presented to Mark Deppe for eSports. Inspired by the ever-growing competitive video gaming industry, eSports is a UCI initiative that will be launched in the fall and will help UCI become a larger player in the world of gaming and organized multiplayer video game competitions. The eSports program will center around competition, academics, community and entertainment. The initiative will bring scholarships and teamwork to support UCI’s video gaming research and community. “We’re the first public school to go into competitive video games,” said Deppe.

The ceremony culminated with the 2016 ANTrepreneur of the Year award which was presented to Mark Deppe for eSports. Inspired by the ever-growing competitive video gaming industry, eSports is a UCI initiative that will be launched in the fall and will help UCI become a larger player in the world of gaming and organized multiplayer video game competitions. The eSports program will center around competition, academics, community and entertainment. The initiative will bring scholarships and teamwork to support UCI’s video gaming research and community. “We’re the first public school to go into competitive video games,” said Deppe.

ANTrepreneur winners:

Jessica Quiki
Foxi
Best Female Owned Business

Joseph Cachapero
Free Clinic Project
Best Non-Profit Startup

Tyler Schiller
Shark Fin
Best Original Idea

Brett Weir
Lamestation
Best Marketing Technique

Fulya Ozcan
Beatpool
Best App

Brian Leung
BottleRocket
Best Growth Strategy

Maslow Construction Robots
Best Environmental and Corporate Sustainability

Yasemin Sarigul-Klijn
Red Lion Robotics
Best Female Innovator

Ramin Rajaii
Mindfull
Best Male Innovator

Cyrus Taghehchian
Flyt
Visionary of the Year

Natalie Sweis
FailSafe
Most Improved

Esosa Agbonwaneten
Bulletin, LLC
Most Dedicated

Eric Casavant
Newport Flips
Best Bootstrapping

Nathaniel Dalerio
Serious Side Projects
Best Prototype

Evan Schein
Memorlane
Best Pivot

Manisha Priyadarshini
Xchange
Best Problem

Students
Social Sciences 189
Best Crowdfunding Campaign

Karan Kanwar
Pippy
Best Intellectual Property

Michaela Holland
Anteater TV
Most Impactful for the UCI Campus

Crystal Sanchez
Guardian Locket
Most Potential for Societal Impact

Carol Choi, Michael Dennin, Bill Maurer, Kristie Lin, and Annette Buckley
ANTrepreneur Advocate

Alton Chisom
Versafit
Best Alumni ANTrepreneur

Gina Heitkamp
Middle School Moguls
Best Fundraiser

Bart Greenberg
Mentor of the Year

Tom Schultz
Ideator
Supporter of the Year

Mark Deppe
UCI eSports
ANTrepreneur of the Year