Carnegie Mellon University

McGinnis Undergraduate Winners

April 10, 2023

Tepper School Students Among Winners at McGinnis Venture Competition

Several students in the Tepper School of Business were among the participants—and winners—at the annual McGinnis Venture Competition held on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at Carnegie Mellon University.

Presented by the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship, the McGinnis Venture Competition invites student entrepreneurs from across the university to compete for a total of $60,000 in investment funds to support their startup ventures.

Tepper School junior Isaiah Rodgers and teammate Zamir Rodgers earned first place in the undergraduate track for Clutch Car Management, a company that provides roadside assistance and house call services. Their win secured them $4,000 to continue to develop the company.

Thomas Park and Erika Chao, both master’s students in the Tepper School, presented Right One, an automated candidate sourcing tool using generative AI. The team’s third-place win in the graduate track secured them $10,000 to further their work.

“This year’s McGinnis Venture Competition had a record-breaking application year with an astounding 84 teams participating,” said Dave Mawhinney, Executive Director of the Swartz Center for Entrepreneurship and Associate Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Tepper School of Business.

“It was a hard decision for the hundreds of judges that participated in the first two rounds to narrow the teams down to the four undergraduate teams and ten graduate teams that were selected."

The competition began with two virtual rounds in which teams worked with alumni entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to develop their ideas and business plans. In the third and final round, fourteen student teams were chosen to pitch their startup ideas to a panel of VC judges and a hybrid audience of both in-person and remote attendees.

Read about all the winning teams and watch the final round of the competition.

The McGinnis Venture Competition was established in 2004 with an endowment from Gerald McGinnis, founder of Respironics, Inc., a medical supply company based in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, that was acquired by Philips in 2008.