Innovation DuPage Sponsors 2018-19 Blue Ocean Competition

As a sponsor of the 2018-19 Blue Ocean Competition, Innovation DuPage was proud to have the opportunity to present a $500 check to an Illinois team from Barrington High School. The check was awarded for third place in this international entrepreneur challenge. The winning team, dubbed SafeGuard, finished third out of more than 550 student competitors from 26 states and 8 foreign countries.

The program has the volunteer support of many in the business community in Barrington

SafeGuard’s winning entrepreneurial pitch for an app-enabled mouth guard with a sensor that would alert coaches, teachers and parents via smartphone whether an athlete has suffered a concussion while playing sports featured the students from Hagop Soulakian’s entrepreneur class at Barrington High School, in Barrington, Illinois. The program has the volunteer support of many in the business community in Barrington, a suburb approximately 20 miles northwest of Chicago.

“Parents, business members and teachers alike volunteer to mentor and coach each team as they prepare and build their companies and products,” said Soulakian. “This class is a community-wide effort to engage and support student entrepreneurs.”

From left: Ginger Wheeler, director of public relations for Innovation DuPage presents a check to the SafeGuard team who placed third in the international 2018-19 Blue Ocean Competition. SafeGuard is comprised of (In red) Allison Khoshabe, CEO, Steve Bramati, Samantha Short and Thomas Smith. Barrington High School entrepreneur class teacher Hagop Soulakian (in back row) looks on. Not pictured: Holly Snyder and Carrie Zakson, volunteer team mentor.

This is the fifth year of the Blue Ocean entrepreneurship competition which received 232 idea submissions from around the globe. Blue Ocean’s founder and president, Nicholas Benavides, wrote the Barrington students saying, “Our judges were very impressed with the ingenuity your team showed and your ability to deliver a compelling pitch.”