Wichita State startups receive award money at entrepreneurship competition


Sam Belsan

Jared Goering (left) and Spencer Steinert are the co-founders of Vytal, a next-generation, wearable biometric tracker for athletes. Goering and Steinert took second place in the Kansas Entreprenneurship Challenge at K-State last Monday.

Three Wichita State startups pitched their ideas for a shot at $75,000, and each left with award money to support their idea.

Vytal, Mobile Car Tune and MAGICA Systems each competed in the first round of K-State’s Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge in Manhattan last week. Teams each presented in a four-minute, four-slide pitch.

Jared Goering and Spencer Steinert, freshmen at Wichita State, pitched their product Vytal, an adhesive biometric feedback monitor for athletes, at the competition.

“We saw the first few pitches and they were way better than we were expecting them to be,” Goering said. “We were pretty confident about the pitch we had put together. We felt good about it, but it was definitely a higher level of competition than we were expecting, which was really good.”

16 teams competed in the first round of the university division with four moving on to the final round. All the companies wishing to compete were required to submit an application and executive summary about their product.

Goering and Steinert made it into the second round — pitched their device using six slides in six minutes — and won second-place, leaving with $12,000 in award money.

“Our second place win was a bit unexpected, actually,” Goering said. “It was better than we thought we were going to do.”

The winner of the challenge, Jonathan Griffin from KU, pitched about Exodus Technologies and a new, early-detection method for identifying multiple sclerosis.

“We were totally okay with losing to that idea because [Griffin] certainly deserved to win,” Goering said. “His technology was amazing.”

The remaining WSU start-ups did not make it into the final round of pitches, but they did not leave empty handed either.

Mobile Car Tune — an auto-servicing company — run by Ernie Cisneros, Jose Cisneros and Jocelyn Galicia was awarded $1,500.

MAGICA Systems — a company focused on increasing efficiency in hip replacements — run by Caylin Wiley, Fanny Ochoa, Gisela Guzman and Maria Valbuena was awarded $1,000.

“We think [having three WSU teams] really reflects what we have going on at Wichita State with Innovation Campus and WSU Ventures and the momentum they’re putting behind companies like us so we’re able to go to this type of competition,” said Goering.

All three companies that competed in the Kansas Entrepreneurship Challenge are also competing in the Shocker New Venture Competition at Wichita State.