Ox Sox takes home UGA Idea Accelerator top prize

MIS student secures $2,500 to market antimicrobial socks that alleviate stinky feet
Bob Pinckney and Matt Tesvich holding a novelty prize check

When management information systems student Matt Tesvich played high school baseball, his mom had a standing rule: shoes and socks stay outside.

Hours of baseball practice produced a daily constant — Tesvich’s feet became sweaty and stinky. But by creating an antimicrobial line of socks that neutralizes foot odor, Tesvich has a solution that covers all the bases.

Tesvich’s innovation, Ox Sox, earned him first prize at the Oct. 10 UGA Entrepreneurship Idea Accelerator Demo Day.

“In last four weeks, we’ve sold over $500 in preorders based only on stinky feet,” Tesvich told the judges after handing them a sock he wore for five days as a proof of concept.

Tesvich is marketing his socks on TikTok and Instagram and plans to use the prize money to develop branding materials and produce his next batch of socks.

“This a polished presentation, we understood the product easily, and you gave us a good financial analysis — even at a high level,” judge Rob Shier (MBA ’04), CEO and owner of D12 Commercial Interiors, told Tesvich.

Judges for this Idea Accelerator cohort included Shier, Jeff Reed (BBA ’82), who advises companies in the private equity space; Hal Kravitz (BBA ’79), a former Coca-Cola executive and Joey Harris (BBA ’02), founder and CEO of web development company Codesmith.

In addition to Ox Sox, judges recognized marketing student Pierce Meier and his fitness brand Sovereign Lifestyle with second place. Marketing student Lee Evans and hospitality management student Madison Heck, creators of the Brew-sling, took home third place.

Intended finance student Andrew Cash, creator of Finding Fragrance; marketing student Bella Silverman, creator More S’mores and graduate student Quang Dang, founding partner of ballast water treatment system Diversican, participated in the cohort.

The UGA Idea Accelerator is a four-week, intensive business workshop pairing UGA student startups with entrepreneurs who coach them in customer discovery, financial literacy and investor readiness. The UGA Entrepreneurship Program works with two cohorts of entrepreneurs each semester.

The program has awarded more than $80,000 in startup funding and helped more than 671 budding entrepreneurs refine their business ideas.

The mission of the UGA Entrepreneurship Program is to help develop the mindset of future entrepreneurs and prepare students for business leadership roles. UGA Entrepreneurship Program accelerators are open to UGA students and Athens community members.