Kayla Wooley, MBA ’22, founder of StaffOnTap, was tabbed the winner of Big Red Ventures’ annual BenDaniel Venture Challenge (BVC), held on April 13 in the Statler Amphitheater during Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration. 

Named after the late Cornell entrepreneurship founding father David J. BenDaniel, the BVC is Big Red Ventures’ annual pitch competition. Each year, five finalists are selected to pitch their business ideas to an investor panel; winners of the competition earn a cash prize totaling up to $25,000 (including an additional $25,000 match if the technology is licensed through Cornell). 

Wooley and StaffOnTap, a digital platform that connects temporary nurses to understaffed nursing homes, took home the grand prize of $25,000. Kaveat, a startup co-founded by Dorothee Grant, M.Eng. ’22, Elizabete Ludborza, LL.M ’22, and Christine Shen ‘19, M.Eng. ’22, that helps customers sign the contracts they deserve secured the second place prize of $5,000. Alexa Schmitz, Ph.D. ’18, co-founder and CEO of REEgen, a startup that is sustainably mining rare earth metals with biology, won the third-place award of $1,000. Schmitz received an additional $1,000 because her technology is licensed through Cornell. 

Levelle Nutrition and Abstractive Health were also selected as finalists. 

To read more about BVC and the entire two-day Celebration event, access the full article in the Cornell Chronicle.