Texas Tech University

2021 Startups Win Investor Funding in Texas Tech's Own 'Shark Tank'™

Glenys Young

November 23, 2021

Innovation Hub

Eleven teams participated as finalists in the iLaunch Competition.

Texas Tech University's Innovation Hub at Research Park announced today (Nov. 23) the winners of its 2021 iLaunch Competition and its Red Raider Idea Competition.

Three teams of startup entrepreneurs from Texas Tech and the West Texas community were awarded funding as winners of the iLaunch Competition on Friday (Nov. 19). The iLaunch finals, the Innovation Hub's own “Shark Tank”™-like experience, allowed 11 startup teams to pitch to a real investor panel for an opportunity to win the $10,000 top prize. The competition involves entrepreneurs from Texas Tech and the West Texas community. It is designed to identify, grow and launch startup companies.

The winners are:

First place ($10,000) HiPR Innovation Inc.
HiPR innovates devices to prevent pressure ulcers. 
Team lead: Harikishan Sachdev, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center student

Second place ($3,000) StarKrug
StarKrug created a product called INSUL-80, a multi-layered, temperature-sensitive sticker that changes color to indicate when an insulin vial has gone bad.
Team: Baxter Krug and Ian Stark, Texas Tech students

Third place ($1,000) Vofspace
Vofspace consolidates virtual meeting space, scheduling, payment collections and client communications into a single dashboard.
Team lead: Joshua Woods, community entrepreneur

During the post-competition Lightning Round, the 11 startups gave their 60-second elevator pitches on stage and audience members voted for their favorite pitch. The People's Choice awarded one startup with $1,000. 

People's Choice Award ($1,000) 3 CulinaryMed Docs
3 CulinaryMed Docs offers an electronic repository of various culinary medicine education videos created by registered dietitians that can assist people with an acute or chronic disease improve their diet quality and overall health.
Team lead: Shannon Galyean, Allison Childress and Michelle Alcorn, Texas Tech faculty

“I am inspired by the ability of everyone involved in this competition to dream big, work hard for their goals and be persistent in the face of challenges,” said Margaret L. Williams, dean of the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business and one of the judges of Friday's competition. “Putting yourself and your ideas out there for evaluation and critique is an act of bravery, and I am honored to have been involved with these competitors. We all expect great things from these folks!”

Three winners also were announced from the recent Red Raider Idea Competition, in which contestants submitted 30-second idea videos and members of the public voted on their favorites.

First place ($2,000) Bouncer
Bouncer is a social media platform that connects people in their local area via an assortment of fulfilling events.
Team: Andrew Kestler, Texas Tech student

Second place ($1,000) Smart Bracelet
The Smart Bracelet aims to significantly help and reduce the coping mechanisms of those who are struggling with anxiety, ADHD or other forms of body-focused repetitive behaviors.
Team lead: Gisou Salkhi Khasraghi, Texas Tech student

Third place ($500) Treasure Trove
Treasure Trove aims to establish a platform with a focus on sustainability where people can access authentic and locally produced goods from other countries and cultures.

Team lead: Mohammad Alimohammadirokni, Texas Tech student

Texas Tech Today