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Northwestern startups present at local student competition

  • Zcruit and trashy are the two startups run by Northwestern students
  • Startups will present to the audience for three minutes each
  • Competition winner will receive VIP tickets and three months of office space 

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Two startups run by Northwestern students will showcase their early-stage companies at the inaugural Inno U Challenge Thursday, Oct. 13, at Google Chicago, 20 N. Morgan St., Suite 600. Check in is at 5:30 p.m. and pitches are scheduled to run from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Registration, free but required by 3 p.m. Thursday, can be completed here.

Zcruit, predictive analytics software for college athletics recruiting, and trashy, a sustainably designed recycling receptacle, are the two startups run by Northwestern students. They will compete with 13 other student startups from Illinois schools. All 15 startups will have three minutes each to pitch their ventures to the audience.

At the end of the presentations, the crowd invests “Inno Bucks” in their favorite startup, and the “most funded” startup will be crowned the winner of the challenge. The winner receives VIP tickets to Chicago Inno’s 50 on Fire and three months of office space at WeWork, a series of modern co-working spaces with five locations in Chicago.

The event is hosted by Chicago Inno and presented by World Business Chicago and Allstate. The crowd will include members of the Chicago tech and venture communities, student entrepreneurs and representatives of the Dorm Room Fund, a student-run venture fund that invests exclusively in student-run companies, with an average investment size of $20,000 on an uncapped convertible note.

Zcruit software is designed to streamline the college athletics recruiting process. It uses historical data to predict which recruits would or would not commit to a school. From its website:

“Zcruit has developed the first tool to help you identify the right prospects for your program early on in the recruiting process. Instead of manually looking at every prospect in the country, Zcruit shows you the best players in the country that are likely to commit to your school. With Zcruit, you are able to improve your recruiting efficiency, all while finding the right prospects for your program earlier on in the process.”

Trashy, designed by McCormick senior Charlie Tokowitz and alumna Medina Krevans, is a flat-packing cardboard recycling bin that uses regular paper bags as liners.

Startups from University of Chicago, DePaul University, Loyola University, Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Chicago and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will also present.

A complete list, including descriptions of the presenters, is available at Chicago Inno.

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