UofL students’ ‘smart’ tags win startup pitch competition

pascal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2017) – Now where are those car keys? They’re missing — again.

But a team of students from the University of Louisville might have a solution that could help easily locate those keys, and other small items that often get misplaced or forgotten. The idea took top honors in the most recent Louisville Startup Weekend, a 54-hour business pitch competition.

The students, under the company name “Pascal,” tossed around a few ideas before settling on battery-less location tags that can be attached to your phone, keys and other items. The team’s research showed the average consumer forgets an item about three times per week, and spends an average of 2.5 days per year trying to locate them.

“We decided to go with this startup idea because we thought that it could be a great product and had so many applications,” said Haley Pfeiffer, a senior marketing major and member of Pascal. “After we did more research we found out that it was a product that people would use.”

The 11th Startup Weekend was held Oct. 13 through 15 at the new PNC Gigabit Experience Center. The bi-yearly competitions are open to all ages, skill levels and backgrounds.

“Personally, it was an amazing experience and it was my first time,” said Brandon Young, sophomore electrical engineering major and CEO of Pascal. “I really enjoy competitions like this and the overall help plus support from experienced people made it even more worthwhile.”

Pfeiffer and other members of the team — all business or engineering majors — were competing for the first time, but they’ve been training for this for a while.

They’re also in the UofL Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club, a cross-disciplinary group offering workshops, speakers and other programs to help connect students to resources that can help them learn how to be better innovators. The club has studied design thinking, lean startup methodologies and how to make an elevator or fast business pitch.

“UofL was very helping by giving me the love and passion for my major which is a major focus of the idea,” said Young, who’s also president of the club. “E&I was a dominant factor in winning because it allowed me to learn how to think differently and already have the skills for a new idea/startup.”

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The “Pascal” team
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