Out of more than 2,000 applicants from across the South, a total of five entrepreneurs have been chosen as finalists in WeWork’s Creator Awards South Regional Finals. These creators, whose ideas range from a STEM education curriculum to a violence prevention wearable, will pitch their idea or product next week in Austin for a chance to win from $18,000-360,000 and advance to the Creator Awards Finals.
Annmarie Stockinger of Atlanta will be pitching GoSafely, a wearable device for college students that can help you reach out to campus security as well as emergency responders in real-time during an attack or violent incidence. This founder — still a student at Georgia State — came up with the idea after experiencing a sexual assault attack herself at a different school. The incident forced her to transfer universities.
“I started thinking about how I could help make campuses safer. I entered into HackATL in November of 2016 and came up with an idea for wearable, standalone technology that could contact the local police department nonverbally while transmitting the user’s current location,” says Stockinger. “With the help of my team, we were able to build the product including prototypes that we had printed the night before the final presentation! We now have a provisional patent and are looking forward to moving into beta testing this fall.”
GoSafely is competing in the Incubate category, the earliest-stage Awards category for entrepreneurs that thus far, just have a great idea. The grant will help them execute that idea, as well as obtain a full patent.
The next stage of the competition is Launch, which awards individuals who already have companies from $72-180,000. Atlanta-based math education platform Make Music Count is a finalist in this category.
Make Music Count founder Marcus Blackwell says the grant would allow him to finish development of his online curriculum platform. The platform helps students from elementary to high school learn math concepts like fractions and algebra equations with song chords.
“I’m excited to compete because this is a huge platform to share the work we are doing with a large audience on how we eliminate math phobia in students,” Blackwell says. “I’m also excited to meet other experts and business owners to be surrounded by that great energy and to learn from them.”
A total of $1.5 million will be given away at the Austin Finals to up to 30 finalists. Winners will advance to compete at the global finals, November 30 in New York City.
The pitch event will take place the evening of June 27 during Austin City Limits Live. Atlanta-area residents can watch it at a viewing party at WeWork’s Tower Place location. Bernie Marcus, Home Depot co-founder and philanthropist, will also speak at the Atlanta reception.
The full list of winners from the Southeast is below: