Guiding Technologies (GT), a startup company focused on improving outcomes and quality of life for autistic children, won the coveted $125,000 grand prize at the 16th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, Temple’s university-wide business plan competition – one of the most lucrative and comprehensive in the nation. Over $225,000 in cash and prizes was awarded, and more than 450 senior executives, entrepreneurs and investors supported the competition through service as mentors, judges and coaches.
GT’s founder is Temple College of Science and Technology Professor John Nosek, the first-ever faculty member to win grand prize in the contest, which is open to Temple students, faculty, alumni and staff. GT won more than $125,000 in cash and professional products and services at the April 24 finalist presentations held at the Fox School’s Alter Hall.
“Winning the BYOBB means development and field testing of GAINS™ will be accelerated. This will translate into helping individuals with autism and their families sooner – what a great outcome from this competition,” Nosek said.
Nosek has developed a mobile technology platform that systematizes and standardizes Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), the gold standard in treatment for autistic children. Currently, one of every 68 children is diagnosed on the autism spectrum (over 1.1 million currently). ABA is exceptionally costly, its effectiveness ranges due to inconsistency from one therapist to the next, and there is a scarcity of qualified ABA therapists. Without ABA therapy between the ages of two and five, autistic children lead diminished lives with a 10-fold increase in lifetime costs. GT will revolutionize the treatment of autism through its flagship product GAINS™ (Guidance, Assessment and Information System) because anyone with a smart phone or tablet can be coached step-by-step in real time to provide high-quality therapy. GAINS™ will improve the consistency of ABA therapy, therefore increasing its efficacy while reducing costs.
“Guiding Technologies offers autistic children and their families around the world hope for greatly improved long-term outcomes,” said Jaine Lucas, executive director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute. “This is a classic example of the right product at the right time. Judges were impressed by the overall sophistication of the plan, including its disruptive technology, smart and creative go-to-market strategy, revenue model, and potential to do well and do good.”
Other winners were:
- First Place Undergraduate Track: F.O.G. Systems – Pooja Thakkar, Clifford Greenfield and Robert Alexander, College of Engineering ’14; Second Place Undergraduate Track: Manouk Hovhannesian and Sivon Pichoto, Fox School of Business ’14
- First Place Social Innovation Track: Philadelphia Urban Creators – Alex Epstein, College of Liberal Arts ’14, Devon Bailey, Denzel Thompson and Jeaninne; Second Place Social Innovation Track: Citadelle Shades – Elizabeth Darnel, Fox School of Business, EMBA ’12, Colleen Gill, Penn State University and Mark Onesky, Fox School of Business, EMBA
- First Place Graduate Student/Alumni/Faculty/Staff Track: Whose Your Landlord – Ofo Ezeugwu, Fox School of Business ’13, Felix Addison, George Mason University, Kacper Rams, College of Science and Technology ’15, and Nik Korablin, College of Science and Technology ’13; Second Place Graduate Student/Alumni/Faculty/Staff Track: Heart Upbeat! – Maria Cecilia Scimia, MD, PhD, Associate Scientist, Temple School of Medicine
- Best Written Plan by a Woman: Elizabeth Darne, Fox School of Business, EMBA ’12
- Best Written Plan by a Minority: Ofo Ezeugwu, Fox School of Business ’13
- Best Written Cleantech Plan: Scott Draper, Fox School of Business ’14
The annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl® competition is the flagship co-curricular program of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), which is based in Fox School of Business but serves students, alumni faculty and staff from all 17 schools and colleges at the university. The IEI has been a top 15 ranked program nationally in entrepreneurship for 11 consecutive years. Previous winners have been recognized by Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur magazine and other prestigious publications.