The SCAD Startup 2021 finals took place on Friday, February 12th. The event, which is SCAD’s annual, week-long design sprint hosted by the FLUX – the UX club in collaboration with SCADpro, allowed SCAD’s undergrad and graduate students to compete in a week-long business design competition leading up to a pitch session in front of judges on the final day. Teams, which were made up of students from a variety of majors, worked together to craft a presentation deck, visual prototype, and a business model of their product or service. This year was unique in that the competition featured two tracks for student teams to choose from:

The Entrepreneurship Track

36 student teams and their mentors competed for the best innovative, new business concept centered around a product or service idea they designed from scratch.

Winners (Click each team name or business idea to see their product/service design)

1st Place – Plan’ter

An app that promotes mental health and wellness in teen oncology patients through scheduling activities of mindfulness, creating a safe space to release internalized emotions, and encouraging a fulfilled sense of achievement everyday.

Team: The Other Half

Matthew BottiglieriNatalie C., Samiha Khan, and Mentor Mitzi Okou at Spotify


2nd Place – R-connect

A virtual bar experience with a mobile app and a physical product that allows you to have the social interactions and in-person bar experience you miss.

Team: R-connect

Tang TantivirunChanapa KerdlapeeTori TryonLouis-Charles PossoverLuwei Han, and Mentor Stacey Roach at InventureIT


3rd Place – Wildfire

A revolutionary approach to the playground that incorporates more creatively stimulating equipment on a mobile platform.

Team: Phoenix Cell

Anderson WhiteErin MarshallMaddie Buchmann, and Mentor Ben Landrum at IBM


Fan Favorite – Mobi

A transmitter and receiver system that universalizes hands-free payment and low customer-contact service.

Team: Godzilla

Edena AlvaradoGabriel FernandezJacob WyandTaylor PrimuthLekha Veeramachaneni, and Mentor Galyn Bunnell at Amazon


The Local Business Track

27 student teams worked hands-on with a minority-owned (LGBT+, POC, Women-owned, etc.) local small business in Savannah or Atlanta. Students worked with the businesses to design creative solutions centered around the challenges the businesses faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Winners (Click each team name to see their product/service design)

1st Place

Team: Elite+

Elite+ created a networking app for The Culturist Union (TCU) called The Union, which supports a “phygital” experience for TCU members.

Tanya KarOjas GuptaPriyanka KarSanika PalsikarAditya Dash, and Mentor Erica Cardenas – The team won $10,000 for Elbi Elm and her company The Culturist Union!


2nd Place

Team: #caake

#caake designed History Hunt, which uses QR technology to connect young students and parents with diverse historic figures illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.

Addie Benson, Anna Kate McgintyErin MillsKatherine VaquerizoChloe Hui, and Mentor Galyn Bunnell (2x winner) at Amazon – The team earned $5,000 for Gregory Christie and GAS-ART GIFTS!


Fan Favorite

Team: 5spice Girls

5spice Girls created a tangible business strategy so that children, parents and teachers can interact with and learn from R. Gregory Christie’s works.

Gwen KrageDaniela Torres WongGuiga KasabkojianAndrea GuthDaniela G., and Mentor Joseph W. at Perficient


Learn more about all competing teams here: https://scadstartup.com/showcase

Watch the pitch competition finals here: