2023 SNVC Winners

Students came together from varied backgrounds of study to compete in this year’s competition. The colleges they represented included:


College of Applied Studies

College of Engineering

College of Health Professions

College of Innovation & Design

W. Frank Barton School of Business

Over the course of the three-round competition, the number of teams was narrowed from forty-one to four winning teams. Throughout the competition, competitors received feedback from the industry professionals, experts, and entrepreneurs who acted as judges.

We are proud to present the winners of this year’s Shocker New Venture Competition!

Player Card

1st Place, $10,000

Jacob O’Connor and Jon Peterson took note of changes in the NCAA legislation that allowed college athletes to profit from their Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) and found their opportunity to make their passion into a startup. As Jon said, “Jacob and I started Player Card because of our love of sports. Varsity sports and AAU leagues were a large part of our lives in high school. We didn’t choose to play in college; however, we knew we wanted to keep as involved as possible.”

Their startup, Player Card seeks to “remove friction from the process of working with college athletes and create mutually beneficial interactions between the two parties.” To do so, they handle many processes including “deal generation, to athlete matching, schedule coordination, event facilitation, content creation, and athlete payment.”

Player Card is currently operating in Wichita. It is here Jacob and Jon have been able to test and refine their product, and they are now looking to expand their operations to Manhattan to capitalize off the recent good season their teams have experienced.

"The advice I would offer to someone looking to start a business or compete in the competition is to just start. A lot of people get held up with “I need this or that and then I’ll start my business;” it’s often an excuse we tell ourselves because we’re scared/timid to take the first steps. There are low-cost ways to start your venture, you may just need to get creative. When you start taking action towards your business, good things will happen, and the right people will come along."
- Jacob O’Connor

  • Jon listens as a judge poses a question about the business.
  • Jacob presents to judges about the team's business model.
  • Jacob stands in front of the crowd fielding questions from the judges.
  • Jon and Jacob hold the giant $10,000 check in front of the mural in the Widget room at Devlin Hall.

Female Engineering Matters

2nd Place, $4,000

Rahmah Alsukayr, Rosa Chicas, Karen Duong, Jessica Gorton, and Angelica Perez “all personally related to one another as women, especially, as minorities who are still underrepresented in the Engineering community.” It was through this connection they were inspired to create the team Female Engineering Matters and to tackle an issue within women’s health: reducing lower back pain during pregnancy.

To address the problem they identified, they developed a product: Triple B Support. It is a wearable support system that alleviates “aches presented in the lower back, support the weight of the belly, and provide comfort for sore breasts.”

“You can truly do anything if you set your mind to it. When our team first formed, we were all clueless and had zero idea what we wanted to do, how to solve any problems or strive for our goals. If it’s scary and nerve wrecking, then you are in the right place.”
- Karen Duong

  • The Female Engineering Matters Team meeting before the Trade Show to begin setting up their booth.
  • Jessica Gorton presenting to a judge at the Trade Show in front of her team's booth.
  • Jessica Gorton and Rosa Chicas standing at the front of the auditorium in Devlin Hall presenting at the Finals.
  • Holding their certificates, the members of Female Engineering Matters and the finals judges pose together.

Optimum Wellness

3rd Place, $2,000

  • Olivia and Chase present their business and prototype to judges
  • Olivia presents the team's business model and prototype to a judge.
  • Zachary affixes the team's prototype restraint to Faizan to demonstrate its compatibility with a stretcher.
  • Holding their certificates, the Optimum Wellness team poses with the final round judges.

Vision Vest

4th Place, $1,000
People’s Choice Award, $500

The curious nature of Grant Johnson, Jun Chang Teoh, and Keenan Nguyen left them "always needing to question ‘Why?’ and ‘How can it be better?’” Their curious nature led them to investigate how blind individuals navigate and to question the available options.

Vision Vest was developed as the team researched and interviewed blind individuals. Their product offers a radically different means of navigation to the traditional walking stick. They used haptic sensors placed within a vest to “empower those that are blind to navigate, avoid objects, and identify those objects” without directly touching them.

The team is still working to refine their prototype.

“The Shocker New Venture Competition allowed us to view our product through the lens of a business and be asked questions that we would have never thought of on our own. Ultimately the answers to these questions are what makes or breaks a successful business.”
- Grant Johnson

  • Grant Johnson holds a phone with the prototype software on it and demonstrates it for a group of judges.
  • Jun Chang Teoh discusses the business model and prototype to judge.
  • Jun walks towards Keenan to demonstrate the way the software and haptic sensors on the vest work together as a navigation aid.
  • Holding their certificates, the Vision Vest team poses with the judges of the final round.