Twelve new ventures took the stage at George Washington University’s New Venture Competition last week to vie for audience appreciation and a total of $140,000 in cash prizes. In the end it was Urgent Wellness that took first place (worth $20,000), plus $5,000 from the AARP Foundation.
— GW New Venture (@gwnewventure) April 21, 2017
Founded by Freya Spielberg, Aubrey Villalobos, John Barabino and Luigi Leblanc, Urgent Wellness is a social impact venture looking to bring improved healthcare options to the country’s vulnerable populations by placing care facilities (staffed by community health workers) in homeless shelters and public housing.
“We are beyond honored to have won the GW New Venture Competition and thankful for the support of The George Washington University’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” Spielberg, Urgent Wellness’ lead founder as well as associate professor at the Milken Institute School of Public Health and director of GW’s community-oriented primary care, said in a statement. “We believe we will have a significant impact on health disparities in Washington, D.C. — and then nationally — by providing the right care to the right people in a way that’s accessible to them.”
The evening saw other winners as well — like Union Kitchen-based food startup Berg Bites, which won second place and the best undergraduate award for its healthy snacks. Read more about who won what, and how the evening went down, in GW Today.
The GW New Venture Competition was launched in 2009 and is (according to organizers) the “fifth largest collegiate business plan competition in the country.” Each year the competition seeks “to give GW students, faculty, staff and alumni a real-world, experiential learning opportunity in entrepreneurship.” Initial funding for the program was provided by Florida Gov. Rick Scott.