Cal Lutheran startup vying for $100,000

RepWatch is one of 4 finalists in Arizona competition

John Ikudaisi, Alexis Schomer and Robert Kyler pitch RepWatch during Cal Lutheran’s New Venture Competition in April.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – March 28, 2017) A California Lutheran University team is one of four finalists competing for a $100,000 grand prize in an Arizona startup competition on Sunday.

RepWatch was the only out-of-state team to earn a spot in the finals of the inaugural Arizona State University (ASU) Innovation Open, a college technology venture acceleration competition. Working out of Hub101 in Cal Lutheran’s Center for Entrepreneurship in Westlake Village, Robert Kyler and John Ikudaisi of Thousand Oaks and Alexis Schomer of Porter Ranch developed a wearable device to monitor physical therapy and fitness activities and a mobile app that helps users stay on track during injury rehabilitation and workouts.

Kyler is earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA in finance and Ikudaisi is working toward a bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA in combined five-year programs. Schomer graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

More than 200 entrepreneurial community leaders are expected to attend the Final Four Demo Day of the ASU Innovation Open from noon to 3 p.m. PDT Sunday.

Nearly three dozen teams initially submitted video pitches and fielded questions from a panel of evaluators.

Another team working out of Hub101, Coding Autism, was also among the 15 semifinalists chosen after the first round of judging. The training company prepares adults on the autism spectrum for jobs in software and web development. Oliver Thornton, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Cal Lutheran in 2016, worked with Austen Weinhart to develop Coding Autism during the university’s New Venture Competition in April and they took first place.

After the 15 semifinalists submitted product demonstration videos and participated in a second round of interviews, judges narrowed the field to the four finalists in February. Each of the finalists received $5,000 from startup Zero Mass Water to prepare for the finals. 

The other finalists are Nunami Labs, a University of Arizona (UA) team that developed sensor technology to enable autonomous vehicles to understand their surroundings and make roads safer; Somatic Labs, an ASU and UA group that built wearable tactile devices to augment human perception for GPS navigation, caller ID, alerts and other uses; and Swift Coat, an ASU squad that created coatings in a range of thicknesses for solar, glazing, filtration, display and sensor markets.