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Deer decoy business wins TheOther40 competition at SIUE 

TheOther40 business plan competition offers Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students the opportunity to take a business idea through the stages needed to launch a product or service.

The SIUE School of Business hosted its 11th competition in 2021, which concluded on April 26 with an online video pitch. More than $10,000 in cash prizes were awarded to the finalists.

School of Engineering senior Timothy Nodorft and his team achieved first place and $5,000 with BambAI. BambAI is a remotely controlled animatronic deer decoy that mimics deer behavior.

“The winning pitch from BambAI combined an innovative idea with true market potential,” said School of Business Dean Tim Schoenecker, PhD. “We expect the prize money will help that team move its prototype closer to market. I’ll be excited to see where BambAI goes in the future.”

Taking the $3,000 second place prize was Eli Hawkins with ETCH. The company is a dual-sided app and website that will greatly reduce barriers between the workforce and hiring companies by allowing the companies to educate employees prior to hiring.

Jeanna Picha with ALGO News earned third place and $2,000. ALGO News is a one stop daily video accessible on your phone from an app that provides customized accurate unbiased news to viewers.

Other finalists included Carter McCall (Sonomu Games LLC), Nathan Macklin (All-in-One Sports Collectables and Memorabilia) and Jared Lauritson (Check It!).

TheOther40 derives its name from data that shows approximately 60% of startups fail within five years. The goal of the program is to find, engage and support the other 40%. The competition is supported by an entrepreneurship education initiative gift provided to the SIUE School of Business by the Martinson Foundation.

This year, an additional prize of a year of “free connectivity” is being provided to each of the three winners courtesy of T-Mobile.

“The pandemic has led to many challenges this year, and I greatly appreciate the efforts of the SIUE CEOU student team in keeping TheOther40 alive for an 11th straight year,” Schoenecker said. “In particular, I want to recognize School of Business seniors Jacob Bloemker, Sophie Tremblay, and Madison Magee for managing every aspect of TheOther40 and ensuring that the competition went smoothly. I also appreciate the efforts of our Small Business Development Center and director Jo Ann DiMaggio May to provide workshops for the participants and identify judges for the various rounds of the competition.”


PHOTO: The BambAI team, from left, Nathan Medsker, Zach Pappas, Joe Phillips, Tim Nodorft.

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