Chapman University’s California Dreamin’ competition just completed its fourth year bringing together students from top entrepreneur programs to prove that they have the best business plan. The invitation only event took place over two days on April 22 and 23. The competition had three tracks with the top three teams for each track walking away with prizes, as well as two honorable mentions, meaning some 15 schools had the opportunity to walk away with cash and other prizes.

Teams competed for opportunities to partner with prestigious Angel Investor Groups, an appearance on a business television show, and a scholarship to Draper University, as well as the cash prizes and equity investment prizes.

“Being a part of California Dreamin’ was an awesome opportunity for me to put into practice two key principles of being an entrepreneur; being resilient and adaptive,” said Alex Jekowsky, founder of Chapman’s team, Ulyngo, which placed second in the Business Narrative Competition. “What I most enjoyed was the privilege of meeting so many amazing founders from so many great colleges.”

The California Dreamin’ competition is an entrepreneurially-focused higher education competition. Businesses presented vary widely in terms of product and service industry orientation. In most cases, the participating teams have already won the internal competition at their respective universities. Previous winners of California Dreamin’ have gone on to amass further success for their venture, and millions of dollars of investment.

Finalist teams pitched businesses targeted at transportation and parking, construction, agriculture, rocket fuel, financial services technology, gaming, fitness, big data, and more.

“We made a number of innovations in this year’s competition, such as the Jesse Draper Panel for Women Entrepreneurs, the interview with Eli Aizenstat of BeatShare (last year’s highly successful 2nd place winner) and Ken Hubbard’s ‘prequel,’ The Raise TV show,” said Shan Steinmark, Ph.D., director of Chapman University’s Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics and chair of California Dreamin’. “However, what was most inspiring was the continued high level of innovation, spirit of entrepreneurship and unmatched enthusiasm from our millennial student participants; they are helping to make the world a better place and we should all celebrate the students, their parents and their universities,” Steinmark continued.

Below is the full list of winning universities and their business concepts:

Investor Presentation:

Entrants should be able to convince the judges, among other things, that a clear market opportunity exists for their product or service, and that the entrant has the necessary skills, services and strategy to maximize financial returns from that market opportunity.

First Place: University Colorado, Colorado Springs – Lot Spot, Inc.

Lot Spot, Inc. collects data pertaining to the inflow and outflow of cars in parking lots then properly organizes and displays that information to clients in an easy to read format.

Lot Spot, Inc., walked away with:

  • $70,000 investment from IOC Ventures
  • $7,000 Draper University Scholarship
  • Cable TV interview with EyeonBusiness
  • $5,000 cash

Second Place: U.S. Air Force Academy – Viper Irrigation Technology

Viper Irrigation Technology is an irrigation technique that will enable farmers of high value crops to produce an annual crop with reduced water, fertilizer and pesticide inputs.

Viper walked away with:

  • $50,000 investment from IOC Ventures
  • Cable TV interview with EyeonBusiness
  • $3,000 cash

Third Place: Brigham Young University – Iso Truss Industries

Iso Truss Industries offers lightweight and efficient alternatives to traditional wood, steel, aluminum and composite structures to address global growth in cellular communication towers and power grids.

Iso Truss Industries walked away with:

  • $35,000 investment from IOC Ventures
  • Cable TV interview with EyeonBusiness
  • $2,000 cash

Honorable Mention:  Purdue University – Adranoes Energetics, LLC – $1,000 cash

Adranoes Energetics, LLC has developed a new rocket fuel formulation called ALITEC that maximizes fuel efficiency and virtually eliminates highly toxic hydrochloric acid production.

Honorable Mention; Chicago Booth University – Ascent Technologies – $1,000 Cash

Ascent Technologies created a regulatory and compliance workflow platform to help financial service firms identify, track, manage and reports on the firm’s relevant compliance obligations.


Fast Pitch:

The goal of the 90-second Pitch Competition is to allow student teams to quickly interest a potential investor in a business idea.

First Place: University of California, San Diego – ZymeKey – $3,000 cash

ZymeKey offers whole blood coagulation testing that provides additive information to existing diagnostic and research assays for thrombosis and hemostasis conditions.

Second Place: The University of Oklahoma – Nutripeutics – $2,500 cash

Nutripeutics sells and licenses the use of scientifically proven proprietary combinations of organic compounds as alternatives to antibiotics, which sustain and promote immunity in food animals, companion animals, and humans.

Third Place: Carnegie Mellon University – Forest Devices – $2,000 cash

Forest Devices developed AlphaStroke, the first device that screens for stroke across all point of care environments, and can be used by all medical personnel.

Honorable Mention: University of Houston – Sensytec – $1,000 cash

Sensytec has developed technology that makes it possible to retrieve and analyze critical data on cement and concrete at any point in a structure.

Honorable Mention: University of Hawaii – Scholar’s App – $1,000 cash

Scholar’s App offers a platform for both students (scholarship seekers) and donors (scholarship providers) to connect.


Business Narrative:

The goals of the business narrative competition are to allow participants the opportunity to distill the essence of their business down to a single one-line mantra, and then tell a story that encapsulates the mantra in a way that emotionally connects with the judges.

First Place: Loyola Marymount University – InterWallet – $3,000 cash

InterWallet is a marketplace for financial services that provides financial inclusion to the underserved community with its digital banking technology.

Second Place: Chapman University – Ulyngo – $2,500 cash

Ulyngo is a single platform for college students that serves as a marketplace for buying and selling goods and services as well as to finding out about events on and off campus.

Third Place: University of Hawaii – Scholar’s App – $2,000 cash

Scholar’s App offers a platform for both students (scholarship seekers) and donors (scholarship providers) to connect.

Honorable Mention: U.C. Irvine – BottleRocket – $1,000 cash

 BottleRocket is a new app-based solution for consumers to earn money from household recycling.

Honorable Mention: University of Southern California – Cool Anesthesia – $1,000 cash

Cool Anesthesia has created a thermoelectric cooling device that allows for temperature controlled cooling of the mucous membrane to alleviate pain associated with medical treatment such as injections to the mouth for dental procedures.

To see a full list of participating schools, agenda, sponsors and complete panel of judges, visit: Visit Twitter using #cucaliforniadreamin to see a full complement of a variety of participants’ comments.

Main Sponsors include: lead sponsor and prize awards from IOC Ventures and their IOC Venture Fund; also Microsemi, Draper University, Silicon Valley Bank, Vistage, EyeOnBusiness, and PeacefulBusiness.

Angel partners include: OC Tech Coast Angels, Private Capital Network, and ArchAngels.

About the Ralph W. Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Ethics

Established in 1995, Chapman University’s Leatherby Center offers one of the nation’s most respected programs for entrepreneurial young men and women.  The center aims to prepare and inspire principled, dynamic entrepreneurs whose ideas improve lives and solve important problems.  Through innovative courses and real-world leadership, the center provides students with access to a range of resources, including professional mentoring, entrepreneurial internships, a multi-university network, community resources, events, speakers, research, professional groups, competitions and boot camps. The Leatherby Center is unique in its approach to connecting students with inventors, investors and real-world entrepreneurs. For more information, visit

About Chapman University

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University attracts highly qualified students from around the globe. Its programs are designed to encourage leadership in innovation, creativity and collaboration, and are increasingly recognized for providing an extraordinary educational experience. The university excels in the sciences and humanities, business and economics, educational studies, film and media arts, performing arts, and law. Student enrollment in graduate and undergraduate programs is approaching 8,000 and Chapman University alumni are found throughout the world. Visit us at

Follow us on Facebook at: Chapman University Facebook

On Twitter at: @ChapmanU

On YouTube at: Chapman University YouTube Channel


Log In
Open Main Menu