Congratulations To Our Winners

On Thursday, March 15, 2018 six startups with founding teams consisting of at least one current Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) student or recent alumni pitched at the Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box] for a shot at $50,000 in total prize money.

The six finalists received assistance from JumpStart Inc. to hone their pitch before taking the stage. They also received Thompson Hine’s QuickLaunch package and a 25% discount for all other legal services until the company raises $250,000.

Here are the three winners:


First Place - $25,000

Apollo Medical Devices
Apollo Medical Devices is commercializing a rapid blood testing technology with an anticipated turnaround time of five minutes using just a single drop of blood. 


Second Place - $15,000

Hedgemon is focused on creating protective shock-absorbing materials for safer football helmets, drawing inspiration from hedgehog quills.

Third Place - $10,000

ImaginAG is pairing algorithms with drone technology to analyze aerial images of agriculture and timber lands.

Competition Sponsors


Morgenthaler Family Charitable Foundation

David Morgenthaler was an icon in the American venture capital industry. Passing away in 2016, he left a lasting impact on the venture industry. Learn more about his work here.


Weatherhead School of Management

Directed by Scott Shane, the A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, this program aims to stimulate student entrepreneurship and develop high-potential companies. Learn more about the Weatherhead School of Management here.


The Pavey Family Fund

Launched by Bob Pavey, managing partner of Pavey Investments and partner emeritus at Cleveland-based Morgenthaler Ventures, the Pavey Family Fund is a donor-advised fund of the Cleveland Foundation dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio.



JumpStart is a nonprofit venture development organization based in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s mission is to unlock the full potential of diverse entrepreneurs in order to transform entire communities. Learn more about their mission here.

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Thompson Hine LLP is a full-service business law firm with approximately 400 lawyers in 7 offices. With offices in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, New York and Washington, D.C., Thompson Hine serves premier businesses worldwide.