JPA Past Winners

Through the Jones Progress Awards, we now have a great foundation that we can scale and grow. Each member of the team understands their role and how they contribute to the organization. In short, we’re all rowing together, in the same direction, finally!

Ann Jarris MD Solutions International

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center is proud to have been able to have so many candidates successfully complete and receive the Jones Progress Awards. It takes an incredible amount of dedication to complete this program, and showing their accomplishments is one of many ways we can show our appreciation.


  • Ellebit- Anna Del Toro, LEMBA '20: Ellebit eliminates time-consuming aspects of private dining booking through the automation of venue selection, menu selection and add-ons, for small and large party groups, maximizing efficiency of the booking process, using our online booking tool.
  • DYSports- John Verduin MBA ‘18: DYSports LLC was started to give select youth teams the chance to compete, grow and develop in sports within their same level, allowing them to participate in comparable competition and grow their skills. 
  • Votegrity- Tom Thomas, LEMBA '20: Votegrity is a full-service, tech-enabled election partner that delivers today’s highest standards in data encryption for accurate, timely, trusted elections.


  • Altitude Functional Beverages, led by Thomas Angel, BA '13: We make plant based, better for you beverages that don't taste like better for you beverages and fit into your existing routine.
  • Livelihood, led by Pablo Gonzalez, BA '19: Livelihood helps environmentally-conscious buyers that love both city and nature make a difference and slow urban deforestation by planting one tree in an American city for every sustainable clothing item they purchase.
  • Syntek Medical, led by Tawny Fajardo, BS Nursing '13: Syntek Medical provides accessible, multi-adaptable devices to improve the safety of patients while being transported to different areas of the healthcare facility.


  • rThreat, led by Daniela Applegate, BA ’15, is a cybersecurity breach and attack simulation platform that allows companies to challenge their cyber defenses using real cyber threats in a secure testing environment. They empower businesses small and large to take a proactive approach to their cybersecurity by identifying security gaps, addressing vulnerabilities, and optimizing solutions before hackers get a chance to strike. rThreat is a Latinx-led startup that has been in development since 2018 and officially launched August of 2020, and their current challenge is securing a seed round of funding and new beta-customers. 
  • Noir Lux Candle Co., led by Colina Bruce, MA’15, is a black-owned, woman-owned business, specializing in handcrafted natural wooden wick candles, poured in small batches. Noir Lux believes in self-care, good vibes, and nostalgia, and they have a little something for everybody. Currently, their biggest struggle is that they are a one-month old, one-person shop, self-funded and resourced company, in need of some expertise around marketing, financial stability and general sustainability. 


  • Encora, led by Ted Wallis, MPA '15; Green Grubbox was created to offer the most sustainable way to serve or enjoy takeout food by eliminating the need for traditional takeout containers and their contribution to our waste stream.
  • The second team was not able to meet their milestones and did not receive the Award.


  • MD Solutions International (MDSI), led by Dr. Ann Jarris, LEMBA ’17, who won the 2017 Business Plan Competition for her business Discovery Health; MD Solutions International (MDSI) supports corporate public access defibrillation programs. MDSI assists companies develop programs to have defibrillators available, with well trained personnel, regulatory compliance and quality assurance programs. They currently have over 20,000 defibrillators deployed nationwide with clients such as Boeing and Caterpillar.
  • Actuate Media, led by Brad Holly, MBA ’16; Actuate Media is a data-driven and transparent digital marketing agency. While media companies run digital marketing campaigns with very little transparency, Actuate Media focuses on being a businesses’ digital marketing department (we are B2B).


  • The Madrone School, founded by Lindsey McGrew, MBA ‘17 and Grand Prize Winner in the 2016 SU Business Plan Competition; The Madrone School provides families with children affected by autism an alternative to the public school system in the greater Seattle area and offers an affordable and individualized approach using proven behavioral therapies.
  • Key Tech Labs, Founded by Andrew Powers, BA ‘12 and Adam Powers, BA '12, and winner of the Baylor Social Innovation Award in the 2016 SU Business Plan Competition; Key Tech Labs offers after school programs that teach a variety of S.T.R.E.A.M (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts, Math) based activities to prepare youth for a variety of emerging careers.


  • Empower Your Neighbor (Cindy Pickreign, Maria Nassali, and Dave Brooks), won the $10K award for their nonprofit that helps women in Southern Uganda escape poverty and abusive partners by helping them achieve economic independence through breeding pigs.
  • Stempaths (Jon Madamba), an after-school STEM program for local communities and underserved youth to learn valuable technical skills and experiences for their futures, also won the $10K award.


  • WLD Works (Rene Wagner, Joe Darza, Quang Lam) won the $10K award for its web development business, which participated in the SU BPC several years ago.
  • React Mobile (Robb Monkman, MBA) won for their personal safety device company.


  • Ro Health is a healthcare recruiting firm headed by Jeff Widmyer (SU MBA/JD alum)
  • MadDawgs Hotdogs is a local hot dog food cart business (founded by Daniel Dovinh (SU alum/music major)


Have questions? Curious about any of the programs? Want to get involved? We are happy to chat with you! 

Please reach out to Peter Rowan directly via email (


Peter Rowan

Lawrence K. Johnson Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship

Amelia Marckworth

Director of Community