Winners of Startup Weekend Ventura County 2017 Declared by a Judge Panel of 12 CEOs

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Spritely won the Most Likely to Succeed award in Healthcare and Field Force won the Best in Class award in Agriculture.

Startup Weekend Ventura County (SWVC), an economic development initiative founded by Dignity Health St. Johns Hospitals, Camarillo Chamber of Commerce and Ventura County Government, held its second annual event on April 21-23 at Rancho Compana High School in Camarillo. Over 80 entrepreneurs signed up for this event. On Friday April 21st, 35+ technology startup ideas were presented. After the audience had cast their votes, 14 moved forward to form teams to develop proof of concepts. Throughout Saturday April 22nd and most of Sunday April 23rd, a group of 15 technology, subject matter and business mentors showed up to provide counsel and advice to the contestants. Then on Sunday afternoon, a panel of 12 judges, made up of CEOs from significant local businesses presided over the competition.

The idea that won the Best in Class award in agriculture was by Julio Orozco. He named his startup Field Force and his invention is to use floating mats, in regular hexagonal shape, on reservoirs to reduce water loss due to evaporation.

Chris Meissner, Chair of the Judge panel said, “In the case of Field Force we had several CEO judges in the room from the agriculture industry who said the problem of water loss and protecting water quality in storage ponds was real. Julio Orozco presented his business concept persuasively and with confidence which allowed us as judges to have confidence that with additional effort the team could provide the technical refinement necessary to make a viable product.”

The idea that won the Most Likely to Succeed award in healthcare, and with it a $10,000 check, was by Haley Jeffers, an eighth grader. She named her company Spritely and her invention is to create a web service, delivered through a smart phone application software, that provides real time counsel on what and what not to eat to people with food allergy problems.

“What particularly impressed us about Haley Jeffers is that she clearly anticipated the questions we would ask and prepared her responses in advance,” commented Chris Meissner. “One notable question delved into her financial model and how she was going to make money. When that question was presented, she confidently addressed it not just verbally, but also with a slide shown on the screen providing financial estimates comparing her model to other successful app-based businesses. It was remarkably easy to ignore that Haley was in the 8th grade because her work stood on its own. It’s also important to note that Spritely had a very strong team, with sufficient depth, to make Haley’s business concept an actual business should they desire.”

The twelve members of SWVC 2017 judge panels were: Chris Meissner of Meissner Filtration Products, Mohan Maheswaran of Semtech Corporation, Chris Sullivan of Zebra technologies, Darren Lee of Dignity Health St. Johns Hospitals, Kim Milstien of Ventura County Medical Center, Ales Teague of Limoneira, Garland Reiter of Reiter Affiliated Companies, Alain Pincot of Bonipak, Michael Powers of Ventura County Government, Dave Nichols of Applied Wireless, Dr. Ross Dueber of Z Power and Daniel Schoenewald of Advance Motion Control.


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Gladys Rodriguez
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