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Asthma Treatment Mobile App ‘BreatheEasy’ Wins What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour Launch
Monday, February 27, 2017
After 48 intense hours of refining and developing their “big ideas” for the business start-up competition, a winner was crowned from a group of six finalists.
On Feb. 26, the finalists took to the stage at Scruffy City Hall to present their final ideas to a panel of judges in a Shark-Tank style pitch event. This year boasted an impressive array of business concepts, but it was Laura Odom and Jeff Gotcher’s BreatheEasy that took home the grand prize – up to $10,000 in startup reimbursement costs, one year free rent at the Fairview Technology Center, a spot in the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center’s CO.STARTERS program, and other business services.
BreatheEasy is a mobile app and web-based portal that refines the way the world treats asthma by providing easier access to treatment information.
During the finale pitch event, each finalist had six minutes to pitch their ideas and two minutes for questions from a panel of judges. Leading up to the finale, the finalists worked around the clock to make their ideas pitch-ready with the help of mentors and coaches from the community.
“The most special part about this weekend was that I got to see six people's lives change right in front of my eyes,” said Jonathan Sexton, entrepreneur in residence at the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. “It was amazing to see them realizing that these ideas really have a shot and that there is a community full of experts here to help them. The mentors are the real heroes of the weekend, and from here I’m excited to see all the relationships that started continue to grow.”
He continued, “Laura and Jeff from BreatheEasy are a dynamite team. They have the knowledge, skills, and work ethic to take their business to the next level and really have a positive impact on the lives of asthma patients everywhere.”
The five other “big ideas” competing against BreatheEasy were: TrapBeats, sound dampening panels with aesthetic designs; Command Glove, a glove that allows the wearer to control electronic devices by the natural movement of their fingers; Origami Day, a system dedicated to helping people visualize, prioritize, and execute daily tasks; Prometheus, an integrated, customized, and detailed risk mitigation tool for the global traveler; and Urban Valley Farms, which provides a sustainable protein source from crickets in the form of pulverized flour products or whole cricket.
What’s the Big Idea 48-Hour launch is an annual event presented by The Development Corporation of Knox County, the Knoxville Chamber, and the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. This year’s event was sponsored by Magnum Venus Products.