Henrico students set to showcase their skills to employers at Career Rodeo Skills Challenge

A group of 16 student entrepreneurs from the University of Richmond will soon rally behind a product created by their classmates. Lume, a cold brew iced tea that offers “controlled energy,” emerged as the winner of the second annual Bench Top Innovations Great Bake Off.

“Bench Top Innovations: Creation & Commercializing Culinary Magic” is a one-year program in which students conceive, develop and commercialize innovative and practical food or beverage products. This course is a partnership between UR’s Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, the Robbins School of Business, the Jepson School of Leadership, and the School of Arts and Science.

Students worked in teams to present their products to a panel of judges, including university leaders and food and beverage investors, in a pitch competition held last month. Risky — funding further product development and the sole focus of the class Next semester, all 16 students will work as one unit of his to launch a business around their award-winning product, Lume , to expand.

“Lume is a cold brew black iced tea with caffeine and the natural amino acid L-theanine,” says Junior Grace Clarke, co-creator of the drink. They offer tea in a variety of flavors, including superberry.

In their pitch, the Lume team will highlight the use of L-Theanine, which is naturally found in plants, as an ingredient in their products to boost energy and counteract typical side effects of caffeine such as jitters and disturbed sleep. They called this “controlled energy”.

“I’ve learned that caffeine and L-theanine are a great balance,” Clark said.

“The jury chose Lume because they thought it was the most ready-to-market product,” said Shane Emmett, executive in residence and co-founder of Health Warriors. Marketing Instructor Joel Mia, who co-teach the course, said.

Other ideas this year included some non-dairy options and a mix of orange juice and protein powder.

The year-long CIE Benchtop Innovation program is designed to highlight creativity, inspire innovation and inspire entrepreneurship. Last year’s first contest winner was Absurd Snacks, a roasted bean-based trail mix designed for people with food allergies. It is available now online and at many retailers.

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