College of Business

Entrepreneurship Students From Across the Country Compete in the Future Four & More Competition

Future Four Contestants

Finalists of the Future Four & More Business Concept Competition pose for a photo outside Colusa Hall after presenting their business concepts. 

Entrepreneurship students from across the country gathered at California State University, Chico on April 22 for the Center for Entrepreneurship’s Future Four & More Business Concept Competition. Teams from six universities and two community colleges competed by pitching their new business concepts, ranging from agricultural technology to an online lunch preparation and delivery service.

CSU, Sacramento students Joshua Ayotte, Nate Johnson and Doua Yang took first place with their business concept Biliblu, a non-invasive medical device used to detect the bilirubin present in the bloodstream of newborns. Checking bilirubin counts through blood tests has proven to be a stressful and painful procedure for infants and parents. Biliblu is designed to solve that problem.

Future Four winners, Sacramento State students Nate Johnson, Joshua Ayotte and Doua Yang (left to right) with their business concept Biliblu

Sacramento State students from left: Nate Johnson, Joshua Ayotte, and Doua Yang.

CSU, Chico entrepreneurship student Wyatt Hahn, a freshman, took second place with his mobile carpool application, Upool, and Humboldt State’s Reginald Williams Jr., Jonathan Hogan, Abhinav Gupta and Carson Heywood took third place for their mobile application Right Right left, which helps college students find classrooms and events on campus.

A number of special category winners were selected as well, including a Most Sustainable award that went to CSU, Chico’s own Richard Davis, whose vertical farming technology lies at the heart of Verticopia Farms. The Social Entrepreneurship award was given to Butte College’s Alyssa Nolan for her concept Victorious Living, which provides women and children requiring emergency housing with a safe and affordable space to call home and seek needed treatments. Albert Bateh of St. John’s University of New York was awarded Most Ready to Launch for his product EZ Hair Net, a product he already has in production that offers a quick and tidy way to keep hairbrushes clean in salons and in the home.

Sacramento State students Nate Johnson, Joshua Ayotte and Doua Yang (left to right) share their business Biliblu

Sacramento State students present their business concept, Biliblu.

An impressive collection of businesses sponsored the event, including, Fifth Sun, Five Star Bank, Bizness Apps and Diamond W Western Wear. The panel of event judges encompassed a wide variety of business expertise, with leaders who have first-hand experience in investing, banking, running, mentoring and selling companies. 

The Future Four & More competition was host to schools from across the country for the first time in its history, with schools such as St. John’s University of New York and Fort Hays State University of Kansas. Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Peter Straus is inspired by the more diverse experiences of the competing students and has plans to further expand the competition in the future.

“We are a part of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that is critical to building our country,” Straus said. “This is the future of America. It’s important for our local, state, and national economy to foster entrepreneurship and keep the world moving ahead.”

Kelsey Taylor
College of Business

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Persons with disabilities who need accommodations or have questions about physical access may call the program sponsoring the event or call Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.