LaunchU 2020 Walla Walla University


Our last LaunchU Pitch Event of 2020 took place in Walla Walla University. Due to Covid restrictions this event was held online via Zoom on Thursday, May 26th. 

Despite the sudden changes in the event’s format, the finalists still got to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges including Fred Cornforth, Steve Mantle, Karen Hedine and Kevin Welch. The pitches presented covered a wide range of industries including technology, film, photography and education. 

 After much deliberation, the judges decided to award prizes as follows: 

  • 1st – Thrival Guide for SM’s – $5,000 & 5 hour Mentorship
  • 2nd – Sticker Chip – $2,500 & 5 hour Mentorship
  • 2nd – After95 Creative – $2,500
  • 3rd – MyGration – $2,000

Joel and Janette Wagness were the first place winners with their project Thrival Guide for SM’s (Student Missionaries). It is based on an online platform that provides educational and informative resources for future student missionaries to prepare for their experience. This intends to relieve some of the pressure and anxiety that students face and equips them with the knowledge on topics like how to lesson plan, project ideas and even school supplies for teachers to use in their classrooms. 

Jennifer Rau and Stephanie Case won second place with their idea called Sticker Chip, which serves as a tracking device for objects that people commonly lose. What makes their product different from others is the versatility of being able to track objects by just putting a sticker on them. 

Clayton Kruse and Sarah Cabral also won second place with their company After95 Creative. This is a full production company that provides photography, video, audio production and social media management. They are also in the middle of producing a short film & documentary, Voices Rising, which highlights the life and culture of the people in the Marshall Islands. Make sure to follow them on Instagram for future updates @after95creative, @voices.rising.

Samuel Hernandez and Alejandro Paczka won third place with their idea, MyGration. MyGration is a website/app that serves to back-up important files in the forms of a cloud and flashdrive. MyGration offers different packages for different needs like storing,sharing information and file safety. 

LaunchU 2020 at Walla Walla University would have not been possible without the help from the students, faculty, staff, and the CoLab INC Team. Joel Wagness shared, “This is such an extraordinary opportunity you guys are creating for college students and I feel so privileged that I could be a part of it! This competition was so much fun to participate in and so stoked for what’s to come!”  We are excited to keep promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship in the collegiate community. 

If you are interested in participating in our next LaunchU Pitch Competition find out about the upcoming event near you. You can also become a judge & mentor at our next LaunchU event.