University of Portland
Contact: John Furey, Joe Kuffner

University of Portland engineering students win fourth annual $100K Challenge Venture Competition

Six Shiley School of Engineering students placed first in the for-profit business category of the University of Portland’s $100K Challenge Venture Competition, an expanded business plan competition hosted by the University’s Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation.

The winning engineering group Dynamic Assistive Technologies consisted of Jordan Schiemer, Audre Ramey, Caroline Pisani, Ann Truong, Mikah Bacon, and Matt Brown. Dynamic Assistive Technologies created an assistive drinking cup for those who suffer from hand tremors. Schiemer took a lead role in the group’s $100K Challenge project.

With the success of our team’s senior design project, I wanted to create a company that produced and developed assistive devices for those who suffer from involuntary hand tremors,” Schiemer said. “I wrote a business plan for Dynamic Assistive Technologies, an assistive medical device company specializing in vibration suppression technology. I wanted to create a company so these devices might reach the hands of clients.”

Second place in the for-profit category was Connor Whan and his business FlavOils. Whan is a senior majoring in entrepreneurship & innovation. Third place consisted of engineering students Sean O'Rourke, Peter Chamberlin, and Nick Mackinnon with their business AutoPilot Medical Technologies.

Junior entrepreneurship & innovation major Ari Morris took first place in the Social Venture track with his business Youth Skate Movement.

The $100K Challenge Venture Competition provides students with opportunities to receive feedback from experts in the entrepreneurial community, win monetary prizes, and acquire legal services that will help advance their idea to the next stage.

Prizes for this year’s competition include $1,250 for 1st place (for-profit & Social Venture); $750 for 2nd place (for-profit) and $250 for 3rd place (for-profit). Sponsors include D&B, LivePlan, Lane Powell,, AARP, Portland Business Journal, and the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN).

In addition, finalists in the for-profit track will be eligible for an investment of up to $100,000 (half cash and half support services). The winner of the Social Venture track will be eligible for a $2,500 grant and $2,500 in professional services. Investment decisions will be made by the Launch Pad committee.

The University of Portland Launch Pad Fund offers seed funding and incubation opportunities for student ventures. Funded by generous alumni, led by Rich Baek ’93 ’02 and supported by many others, the fund encourages business and non-business majors to innovate and monetize their ideas.

Next year’s competition will be held Saturday, April 25, 2015.

For more information, please contact Peter Rachor, Franz Center, at 503-943-7769 or

The University of Portland is an independently governed Catholic university guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross. U.S. News & World Report ranks the institution as one of the top ten regional universities in the West. It is the only school in Oregon to offer a College of Arts & Sciences, a graduate school, and nationally accredited programs in the schools of business, education, engineering, and nursing.

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