Georgia Tech Comes First at Regional Finals of the Global Pitch Competition for College Entrepreneurs

Insight Optics, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, won first place at the TiE Atlanta’s regional University Global Pitch Competition held on April 17, 2021. The team consists of Georgia Tech students, Aaron Enten and TJ Lagrow.

The team’s business venture is a smart, mobile-adapted platform enabling primary care providers to transmit preventative, machine learning reviewed, video-based exams to eye-care specialists for diagnostic support and follow-up care.

Eight teams pitched at the semifinals of the regional competition.  Second place went to GABA from Morehouse School of Medicine; and third place went to AutoMat, from University of Georgia & UC Davis. University of North Georgia, Valdosta State University, Georgia State University and Emory University were also represented at the regional pitch competitions. A total of 23 teams from 10 universities across Georgia competed this year.

TiE Atlanta, one among 61 worldwide chapters of TiE, completed its local pitch competition to select the college team to represent Atlanta at the TiE University Global Pitch Competition, held in conjunction with TiEcon Silicon Valley.

Insight Optics will represent TiE Atlanta to compete with 26 winning teams worldwide in the global semi-finals to be conducted virtually on May 15-16, 2021. Over 520 teams are participating in the global event to empower students at universities and colleges to become entrepreneurs.  Teams from TiE Atlanta won the global competitions in 2019 and 2020.

JP James, president of TiE Atlanta said, “The pitch competition is a platform for entrepreneurs like me to give back to the ecosystem and to help foster entrepreneurship among college students.  The TiE University program offers valuable support to the next generation of entrepreneurs to launch and scale their startups.”

According to the chapter champion, Eric Ensor, “The pitch competition received applications from 29 teams from 12 universities across the state of Georgia. Of these, 23 teams moved forward and were coached by a diverse group of mentors from the chapter. These mentoring sessions covered many enablers from pitching, presentation design, defining value proposition, financial models and many other aspects of entrepreneurship.”

The teams were judged using a Business Model Canvas and a Business Plan Summary by a set of evaluators. Each team then pitched real time for 10 minutes at the qualifying and final rounds, followed by a Q&A session by a jury panel of real-world entrepreneurs and investors.  Judges for the Atlanta finals were Karen Robinson Cope, Jaishree Knauff, Sig Mosley, and Preetpal Singh; the keynote speaker was Ashish Mistry of BLH Ventures.   Over 35 mentors and qualifying round judges helped the student teams hone their startup ventures to launch or scale in the marketplace.

Business ideas ranged from medical products for humans and animals to industry platforms for customers of dining establishments, displaying a wide range of entrepreneurial ideas from these future entrepreneurs.

Atlanta’s TiE University and TiE High School programs are sponsored by the TiE Atlanta Foundation, a 501(c)3 that funds university and high school entrepreneurship education programs across Georgia.


About the TIE University Program

TiE University, an initiative of TIE Global, aims to foster entrepreneurship among college students. University startup teams gain access to learning resources, mentorship by successful entrepreneurs and opportunities to participate in Hackathons, Startup Bootcamps, and Pitch Competitions. These interactions and experiences help startups take their business from a campus idea into a viable business.

About TiE Atlanta: TiE Atlanta is a top five chapter of TiE Global, a nonprofit consisting of 61 chapters in 14 countries, that generates prosperity through development of entrepreneurs in all stages by creating community and beneficial relationships to support them. TiE Atlanta develops entrepreneurs and startups through mentoring, education, investment, and networking.


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