Three LSU student businesses will compete for a share of a $25,000 prize this week after being selected as finalists for the annual Venture Challenge put on by the LSU Student Incubator.
Trouble Circle, Freedom Fresh Farms and International Pumps and Parts were chosen from 18 student teams that submitted business plans for the competition’s first round. Louisiana Business and Technology Center consultants scored the plans and chose the finalists ahead of the event, which will take place Tuesday evening at Tin Roof Brewery.
Trouble Circle is a wearable safety device whose creators also won the 2018 Baton Rouge Startup Weekend. Freedom Fresh Farms is a veteran-owned organic certified farm that produces for local grocery stores and has plans to scale up. International Pumps and Parts is an e-commerce company that sells pumps and accessories.
Each pitch is 10 minutes and is followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer session. The judges will score the pitches to determine how to dole out the $25,000. Each finalist is guaranteed at least $1,000 but can win up to $15,000.
The competition is in its eighth year and has featured the Crawfish App, United Aerial, Performance Mods, Mashball and Tonal Innovation in past years.
The LSU Student Incubator, a program run out of the LSU Innovation Park, launched the event in 2012 to give students access to capital to launch their business in an effort to retain LSU graduates and create jobs. The student incubator supports student-run startups by providing consulting, business planning and other resources.