Student Business Plan Competition Finalists


Students from Drexel, Stanford, Kentucky and U.S. Air Force Academy Named Finalists in Conscious Capitalism Competition

$75,000 Student Business Plan Competition finalists will present to judging panel at Conscious Capitalism Spring Conference, April 18-20 in Philadelphia

SAN FRANCISCO — April 11, 2017 — Conscious Capitalism, Inc., the nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating humanity through business, announced today the finalists for its first Student Business Plan Competition. Comprising teams heading up four innovative and conscious new businesses are students and recent graduates representing Drexel University, Stanford University, Pepperdine University, University of Kentucky and the United States Air Force Academy. Each of the finalist teams will present to a panel of judges during Conscious Capitalism’s annual spring conference, held this year in Philadelphia, April 18-20.

Finalists in the Conscious Capitalism Student Business Plan Competition

Orai is applying the concepts of “Deep Learning” to the realm of business communications. Through speech recognition software and natural language processing, the solution provides organizations with the ability to analyze aggregated speech data to better understand the nuances of human communications and enabling professionals to become more effective presenters and leaders. Orai is led by Drexel University students Danish Dhamani and Paritosh Gupta.

H2Grow is a multi-faceted, eco-friendly hydroponic food-growing system that not only encourages the adoption of green agricultural processes by large scale farmers and independent gardeners alike, but also provides a source of organic produce to local restaurants and markets. H2Grow is led by University of Kentucky students Kaycee Champion, Mackenzie Kirtley and Leah Ports.

ViRTLimb provides amputees with an augmented virtual reality environment that enables the mobile application of mirror therapy to treat Phantom Limb Pain (PLP). The virtual environment tricks the brain by simulating the missing limb, which can decrease the impacts of PLP, enabling amputees to enjoy live more fully. ViRTLimb is led by United States Air Force Academy students Michael Sauter, Kris Tillery, Dan Darling and Sam Stronko.

DEW Tanzania is seeking to overcome one of the world’s biggest problems: a lack of pure water options in developing nations. Through its patented, low-energy footprint, dual stage water extraction process that converts water vapor into clean drinking water, the company can provide modular combinations of machines to produce from 1 gallon per day to 10,000 gallons per day. DEW is led by Stanford University graduate student Benjamin Fernandes and recent graduates from Pepperdine University and Stanford, Bernice Fernandes and Chaitanya Sharma, respectively.

“We are delightfully encouraged by the quality of submissions to Conscious Capitalism’s first ever student business plan competition,” said Conscious Capitalism, Inc. co-CEOs Doug Rauch and Alexander McCobin. “Innovative student-led initiatives like these contribute greatly to Conscious Capitalism’s future as a catalyst to elevate humanity through business.”

Finalists Pitch Day

These finalists have won an all-expense paid trip for up to four team members to attend the 2017 Spring Conscious Capitalism Conference in Philadelphia, April 18-20, where they will pitch their businesses to a judging panel comprised of exemplary business leaders from the Conscious Capitalism movement. Confirmed judges include Meghan Dunbar-French, co-founder of Conscious Company Media; Jeff Cherry, founder and executive director at Conscious Venture Lab; and Roberta Lang, recently retired general counsel at Whole Foods Market and member of Board of Directors at Conscious Capitalism, Inc. and Whole Planet Foundation.

Grand Prize

Winning team will receive an all-expense paid trip for up to four team members to attend Conscious Capitalism’s marquee event, the invite-only CEO Summit in Austin, Texas, October 10-12, 2017. There, they will join some of the Conscious Capitalism movement’s foremost leaders and learn how to put their business plan into action. The winning team will also receive a package of in-kind services covering legal, branding and marketing, leadership and operations from businesses at the forefront of the Conscious Capitalism movement.

Conscious Capitalism 2017 will be held at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown, April 18-20. To register, please visit