2014 TOP DAWG New Venture Championship winners announced

May 10, 2014 | Uncategorized

A total of $12,500 in cash and prizes was awarded during the TOP DAWG New Venture Championship at Louisiana Tech University

Awards were given to the top three finishers as well as for entrepreneurial spirit.

Teams competed in the TOP DAWG Idea pitch this past October and then advanced to compete in the TOP DAWG New Venture Championship April 25th.

Team PathogenRADAR (Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. students: Varun Kopparthy and Uday Bhanu) won first place and $3000 with a sensor that detects pathogens in food, water, and other biological samples. This sensor is simpler to use, has a faster detection time and is less costly than current pathogen sensors. The Innovation Enterprise Fund awarded $1000 to be added to the $3000 first place award.

Second place ($1500) was awarded to Mechanical Engineering graduate student, Konstantin Dolgan and Industrial Engineering recent undergraduate, Onega Ulanova with What’s Up Ruston?, an informational web resource about events happening on Tech campus, in Ruston, and in neighboring towns.

Gauge-Away (Barrett Routon, Electrical Engineering undergraduate and Shelby Maddox,

Nanosystems Engineering undergraduate) won Third place and $500 for developing a more affordable device that monitors tank levels and equipment pressures and will alert individuals via cell phone when measurements exceed set limits.

In addition to the cash awards, the Louisiana Tech Enterprise Center sponsors six months of incubator space to the winning teams valued at $4,500.

Jones Walker recognized the team with the most entrepreneurial spirit through sponsorship of the $2,000 Jones Walker Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. This award went to IAP Network (Anthony Tchakounte, a Finance undergraduate student) for developing a startup that will recruit international students and help them enroll in Louisiana Tech University.

Since its inception in 1937, Jones Walker has grown over the past several decades in size and scope to become one of the largest law firms in the United States. We serve local, regional, national, and international business interests in a wide range of markets and industries. Today, we have more than 375 attorneys in Alabama, Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, and Texas. For more information, visit

Supporting sponsors for the TOP DAWG include the Louisiana Tech College of Business, Louisiana Tech College of Engineering and Science, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology (CEnIT), the Louisiana Tech Enterprise Center, and the Technology Business Development Center (TBDC).

Six, multi-disciplinary teams progressed to the New Venture Championship final round. Teams are scored on the quality of their new venture investment deck and presentation as well as the overall viability of their business concept. The TOP DAWG was established in 2002 and was organized by the student organization, Bulldog Entrepreneurs (BE) which empowers entrepreneurs and promotes innovation on the Tech campus.