Liautaud MBA Wins 2017 UIC Startup Challenge

Startup Challenge

Last week, it was announced that Liautaud Graduate School of Business MBA candidate and UIC’s School of Design instructor Ted Burdett won the Institute For Entrepreneurial Studies’ 2017 Startup Challenge at UIC.

Ted, along with his wife Sharon, took home the top prize of $3,000 for Fourneau Bread Oven, a small, easy to use bread oven. Sharon lectures in design at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

What is the Fourneau Oven exactly? Simply put, it’s a dutch oven specifically built to make baking bread easier. Bakers place the mini-oven inside of a conventional oven to preheat, and slide dough into The Fourneau. The Fourneau’s cast iron walls heat dough evenly and traps steam from the baking bread, creating a golden, crispy crust every time. The product was initially launched on a Kickstarter and surpassed it’s goal of $90,000 by more than $75,000.

Along with being art instructors, Ted and Sharon are also co-founders of Strand Design—a product design studio located in Chicago’s West Loop. Strand provides design services for clients and creates their own products from sustainable sources and locally manufactured materials.

ChicagoInno reported the following prizes were also given out at the 2017 UIC Startup Challenge:

  • 2nd place ($2,000): Tongue Ventures, a startup creating a medical device that allows for disabled patients to communicate more effectively using their tongue as a medium.
  • 3rd place ($1,000): Nabz Design, a design startup behind Abstruse, a customizable organizer that hangs on the wall.
  • Elevator Pitch—Judge’s Choice ($500): Clutch for Life, a startup that allows inmates to earn fair wages by producing luxury handbags and other leather goods.
  • Elevator Pitch—Fan Favorite ($500): Expresso, a campus coffee delivery service for students.

The Institute For Entrepreneurial Studies (IES) is UIC’s resource for inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs. The Institute offers classes, workshops, challenges, and certificates that introduce new venture development skills and experiences to UIC business students.

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About the Author

Max Pulcini

Staff Writer, covering MetroMBA's news beat for Chicago, Washington D.C., and Baltimore.

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