OMNIS Wins Halloween Business Idea Pitch Contest


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The fourth annual Halloween pitch competition, hosted by the New Venture Accelerator and the Harbert College of Business, saw 19 teams compete for $5,000 in seed funding, in front of a panel of professional industry judges at the interior of the Broadway Event Space and Theatre.

When the scores were tallied, OMNIS came out on top and received $2,000 from the prize pool. OMNIS is a participatory social platform where individuals borrow money through short-term community and peer-to-peer microloans, and where others can borrow money to meet their immediate needs.

Zakariya Veasy, a senior software engineering specialist, founded OMNIS to solve the problem of people with limited credit histories being marginalized by traditional banks and exploited by predatory payday loan companies. “Far too often, the underbanked and unbanked are forced to turn to high-interest payday loans to stay afloat at 400% interest on average,” Veasy said. “The value proposition for OMNIS users is that it builds credit for underserved and neglected demographics. With OMNIS, users build community financial literacy and close generational wealth and credit gaps at across the country.

Other teams that have received funding include:

  • Rodopto, founded by Scott Rowe, uses drones to plant crops that can be converted into renewable diesel fuel and received $1,000.

  • Stretch & Go, founded by Josh Green and Tristin Pettus, is a device providing the critical method for stretching the hamstrings awarded $500

  • BAE, founded by William Murphy and Avery Arasin, is an app that allows students to connect with other students within their own college ecosystem awarded $500

  • AbGlo, founded by Marianne Madsen, Holli Michaels and Courtney Montague, is a fitness device that provides visual feedback to correct lower back posture received the $1,000 Special Category Award provided by the Thomas Walter Center for Technology Management.

The Halloween Business Idea Pitch Contest discovers and rewards early-stage business products, services, or concepts emerging from Auburn University students. Last year’s winner, Room2Room Movers, founded by recent Harbert graduate Brooks Fuller, is currently enjoying significant market success.

Special recognition and appreciation goes to the judges who supported this year’s competition:

  • Sherina Hill, business coach for entrepreneurs

  • Tim Denison, President, GDI LLC

  • Ebony Ruffin, Ruffin Consulting Services

  • Larkin Jones, Alabama Small Business Development Center

  • Ralph Runge, RSquare Consulting, Inc.

  • Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer

  • Ken Evola, PwC Managing Director, PwC

Comments that competing teams share each year are that, while the prize money is important, ideas and offers of support from alumni, which will help them in their longer-term business planning efforts, are a long way off. the most valuable elements of the experience. It proves once again that the people of Auburn always come back and always give back.

Congratulations to all the teams that participated in the Halloween 2022 pitch contest: Atlas Esports – AbGlo – BAE – Balance Buddy – Bridal Jeans – Drop Out Flags – Flavivirus Resource Center – Gym Rat U – HyperTransport – Kaopetronite – LoLo Baking – Menu Match – OMNIS – Plainsman Financial Consulting – Rodopto – Seat Key – Stretch & Go – Tennis Taps – Your future is today.

NEXT UP: Tiger Cage where start-ups will compete for $50,000 in start-up capital!

Applications to participate in Tiger Cage must be submitted by November 16, with the competition starting on January 27.

To register for Tiger Cage, click here or contact Lou Bifano, Director of the New Venture Accelerator at [email protected] for more information.


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