Impact Venture Challenge

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Messiah University's Faith-informed venture challenge developing impactful, viable business models to the world's pressing social issues.

The annual Impact Venture Challenge encourages students to develop and launch a faith-informed business venture that addresses important societal needs.

IVC began in 2010 as a collaborative effort of students and Professor Brian Nejmeh in Nejmeh’s entrepreneurship class.   The "Sharktank" style competition has provided an oppotunity for student-led teams to compete for seed money to start and support thier business ventures.

“We had a number of discussions around the topic of how could we motivate students to think more about launching businesses that both made a profit and made a difference in the world,” said Nejmeh. “Our sense was that some type of business plan competition might act as a catalyst for entrepreneurship among Messiah College students.”

Ten years later, The Impact Venture Challenge continues to thrive as a unique opportunity for student entrepreneurship on a college campus.

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2021 IVC Dates!  

Sunday, April 25, 2021

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM IVC Finale in Parmer Hall Live via Zoom!  

Follow IVC live on April 25th with this live stream link:

Meet the Finalists!

The ODA Company - It is our company’s commitment to bring affordable access to great outdoor adventure experiences to the students in this area, and eventually expand outward. We want people like ourselves and the many others around this area to be able to explore our surrounding area in ways that were not available to them before. Kayaking, cycling, hiking, camping and climbing will be made accessible to students that want to step away from their busy workload and unwind in a fulfilling manner.

The Kneaded Pretzel Company - Our business plan is a mobile pretzel truck that will serve the Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, and Harrisburg communities. These are three large towns in Central PA that currently do not have many local Pretzel Shops. We plan to sell a variety of high quality pretzel products that vary in types of flavors and toppings. Our business model will function similarly to that of Duck Donuts made to order model, where our customers will have the option to choose various types of toppings to create a unique soft pretzel.

Essential Coffee is a ground breaking, disruptive, new to market, venture that offers a trendy Coffee Shop with the never been sold before product of essential oil coffee. The process is simple, after our coffee is ground, we add our essential oil to our fresh coffee grinds. From here, we use the popular pour over method to brew our coffee, and pour water in concentric circles over our coffee grinds and essential oil, brewing our coffee and diffusing our oils into it simultaneously.

Quixite’s idea is to create a web app which automatically generates a website using a form which allows the user to quickly enter their information (address, hours, contact information), any content they want to present, and their design preferences. Because the process is automated, it cuts the costs associated with a personal web developer, and the form-based model means the builder does not need to know anything about web development. By offering this service through a monthly subscription fee to clients in the U.S. and other developed countries, Quixite will be able to offer its service for free to small businesses operating in developing economies.

Iglu will provide a privacy centered, all-in-one solution to consumer home automation at a reasonable market price. The key value proposition is that consumers get the convenience of a smart home at the same price point of competitors while maintaining their own digital data privacy. Iglu is controlled through a comprehensive app which takes full control over the system. All the sensors, lights, cameras, and data are stored, processed, and are retrieved from a centralized ‘Control Unit’. Just like a Vivint Smart Hub4, the Control Unit is a minicomputer which does all the processing for the Iglu System. Rather than being just a hub that sits in a cabinet somewhere, the Control Unit visually looks like a ‘mini igloo’, with a small LCD screen that aids in device configuration and control. Because major market-competitors use offsite data storage, it does not make sense for the initial focus of Iglu to integrate with these devices, but rather create a secure ecosystem that keeps data secure and stored on the Control Unit itself. In the future, Iglu plans to add optional ‘Add-ins’ that integrate with major players like Amazon and Google but will warn users about data privacy first. The goal is to show the market that convenient features like voice assist, home automation, and security cameras can be owned without subscriptions from very large companies with confusing and complex privacy statements. Owners using Iglu can have the comfort and convenience of a modern smart home without worrying about their data being collected, observed and/or hacked.