Mizzou veterinary student wins UM System competition
April 5, 2019
Twelve teams from Mizzou, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), Missouri University of Science and Technology and University of Missouri-St. Louis pitched their businesses before a panel of judges for a chance to win funding from a $30,000 prize pool on April 5 at the first University of Missouri System Entrepreneur Quest (EQ) competition.
Veterinary medicine student Libby Martin, founder and CEO of Calving Technologies, won first place and $15,000 at the event; the Air Traffic Awareness team from UMKC placed second and won $10,000; and MU textile and apparel management major Teanna Bass, CEO and founder of Sweet Tea Cosmetics, placed third and won $5,000.
Each university also had $30,000 in awards for campus-level competitions where they chose teams that would pitch in the UM finale. At Mizzou’s March 19 event, Martin won $15,000, Bass won $10,000, and Clayton Cary, business major and founder of Infoproduct, won $5,000.
Read story about the UM finale and watch video highlights below.
Veterinary student Libby Martin grew up on a small-town farm with cattle scattered on many different pastures and properties. One problem her family had was accurately tracking calving in their cows. This prevented them from discovering birth complications in time to save some cows and calves.
This problem motivated Martin, who studied animal sciences as an undergraduate, to invent a solution and perfect it with the help of classes and hands-on experiences offered through Mizzou’s many entrepreneurial programs and courses. Martin’s technology is a special collar that measures and transmits a pregnant cow’s feed intake, body temperature and GPS to a mobile app that alerts cattle producers when she enters active birth.
“I have experienced such growth, and I feel so incredibly blessed to have the resources and mentors that Mizzou has provided,” Martin said. “With the establishment of my LLC, Calving Technologies, I decided I would pitch for the Entrepreneur Quest program.”
This is the first year for the University of Missouri System’s two-semester EQ program, which provides students at each of the four universities with new skills and mentors who guide them through the idea validation and venture development process.
Fifteen Mizzou teams took part in an EQ competition in November. Business major Ross Scanlan pitched SL.App, a digital platform that alleviates the stress of subleasing an apartment by matching lessees and lessors based on location, time frame, pricing and more. He and his team won $500 as the audience favorite. After the event, Scanlan, Martin and the other semifinalists completed an eight-week education program with input from alumni, industry leaders, coaches and subject-matter experts.
“We wanted to work together and take on the challenge of EQ to see how much we could grow and improve upon our venture,” said Scanlan. “I love the challenge of finding a niche or problem in the world and coming up with a solution to help ease that pain point.”
Students who participated in EQ during the 2018-19 academic year represented nine MU colleges and schools and were enrolled in undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. The other participants were: Andrew Northern, gameURL; Drew Patel, Identifying.Me; Brian Huch, Lawcate; Mike Lin, Pick-Me-Up Pad; Nicholas Deloach, ProActive Escape; and Jack Schroder, Stove to Store.
“EQ provides students from across Mizzou with the opportunity to network with like-minded innovators. In the end, it gives them a platform to pitch their idea to a panel of successful entrepreneurs for the seed funding they need for their ventures,” said Greg Bier, director of MU’s EQ program.