This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Vonage, U.Va. Announce Winners Of Inaugural Student Competition At OpenGrounds

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Virginia and Vonage, a leading provider of communications services connecting individuals through cloud-connected devices worldwide, today announced the winners of the Future of Social Messaging Concept Competition, the first-ever student competition at U.Va.'s OpenGrounds. Students competed for first-, second- and third-place prizes of $15,000, $7,000 and $3,000.

Marc Lefar, Vonage Chief Executive Officer and a 1985 graduate of U.Va.'s McIntire School of Commerce, revealed the winners during an awards ceremony at the OpenGrounds Corner Studio. 

"We challenged U.Va. students to develop ideas that could define the next evolution of social messaging, and they delivered," Lefar said. "The breadth and depth of the ideas were excellent. We saw some fantastic work that addressed real-world problems and provided practical solutions."

Brent Baumgartner from Clifton, Va., a computer science major in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, won the $15,000 first-place prize for Attendr. Attendr is a localized social messaging virtual event platform that facilitates information sharing between attendees at the same event, even if they do not have previously established social media relationships.

Damian Warshall from Washington, D.C., a graduate student pursuing his M.B.A. at the Darden School of Business, won the $7,000 second-place prize for Listen-In. Listen-In is a location-centric information and social media aggregation service that connects users and businesses to comprehensive venue-relevant information based on geographic proximity.

Representing the first winning concept in a two-way tie for the third-place prize of $3,000 were Niklas Philipsen , a systems engineering major in the School of Engineering and Applied Science from Richmond, Va., and Benjamin Terner , a computer science major in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, also from Richmond. They developed Planr, a social messaging platform for events, enabling users to seamlessly discover and organize dinners, concerts, movies and other activities with friends.

Murali Varadaraj from Stony Brook, N.Y., also earned third-place recognition and $3,000. Varadaraj is an undergraduate pre-med and pre-commerce student in the College of Arts & Sciences. He created SORT, a social media platform that conveniently and intelligently aggregates social media and extracts social views as they develop. 

"We are thrilled with the success of this first OpenGrounds challenge," said Bill Sherman, founding director of U.Va.'s OpenGrounds. "Both the quality of the submissions we received and the potential that these ideas represent for the University's engagement in the world will enhance the culture at U.Va. This extraordinary partnership with Vonage has opened doors for students and demonstrates the potential of these new collaborations between the University and innovative partners."

Thirty-eight student teams competed for the prize money. Their ideas were reviewed by more than 50 professionals, including technical experts, business development leaders and venture capitalists.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,798.49 -14.90 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,090.11 +1.24 0.06%
NASDAQ 5,127.5250 +11.3820 0.22%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs