Student entrepreneurs show out at annual New Venture Expo

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The 2024 Rohrer College of Business New Venture Competition took place on Friday, April 19. Before the competition itself– where students pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges – there was an expo on the ground floor of the business building, where students, staff, and others could learn about each of these ventures. 

This year’s winner was Circlez, a productivity app created by Aiden Tahmazian and Sydney Wiredu.

There were a total of 41 ventures displayed by groups of Rowan undergraduate students. Among them was qGLO, a technological interface intended to “connect customers with wait staff better than ever before,” according to qGLO team member Evan Selzer, a senior mechanical engineering major. 

“We want to implement systems like the ‘Presto’ systems they use in places like Olive Garden, Chili’s, and Applebee’s, and we want to have a kiosk that is super simple, with clear buttons that communicate to waiters and customers exactly what you need,” Seltzer said when asked about the nature of qGLO. “For customers with communication disabilities, who are nonverbal, language barriers, things like that, we want a system that is direct. If they need a refill, they know what button they need to hit, if they want to order dessert, if they need the check, we want things like that to be part of our system.” 

Their table at the expo featured a prototype qGLO system, an impressive-yet-analog device, which people could interact with. The qGLO team also served ice cream to those who wanted it, one of many ways these groups tried to leave a positive impression. 

One of the more serious and imperative exhibits was Sipsafe, which makes specialized straws to detect spiked drinks. 

“Our goal was to make every sip safe for men and women that go out to bars, parties, basically just events that involve alcoholic beverages,” said Emily Stanton, sophomore psychology major.  “We wanted to do that because in the U.S., one in six women have had their drinks spiked, and as a result of that, many are sexually assaulted. So we came up with color-changing straws that detect if there’s a drug in the drink. It’s going to alleviate that problem, and it’s just a prototype for now.”

Every year, 40,000 pets are killed in house fires. Amber (insert last name) decided to look for a solution to that problem. 

On the second floor of the business building, in addition to the New Venture Expo, there was a gallery run by Creatives 230, a group that aims to bridge the gap between art and business. 

Elizabeth Jameson is a senior RTF major.  

“Creatives 230 is a space created to work with entrepreneurs, and combine creative students with business students,” said Jameson, who works with the club. “Basically, we help businesses out if they need help with things like logos and writing.”

Jameson elaborated on the event itself. 

“This up here is the startup gallery, for some of the kids in the photography minor… all of the proceeds go to the students, this is all student work,” Jameson said.

The New Venture Expo provided an informative, energetic, and inspiring atmosphere before the main event, the new venture competition, which occurred shortly after.

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