The Innovation Challenge’s twelfth year will be culminating in April after a year-long series of events where 61 total pitches have been heard and $17,000 has been awarded to ventures thus far. The Berthiaume Center received 25 competitive applications for the Semi-Final, out of which the top 7 teams of entrepreneurs on campus have been selected to compete in the Final. The audience of the Innovation Challenge Final on April 6 will hear pitches from the greatest variety of ventures we have seen thus far that take their roots in departments all over campus. The finalists include 6 PhD candidates, 1 Master’s student, and 10 undergraduate students in Plant, Soil and Insect Sciences, Management, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and Chemistry.
We are excited to announce that the following 7 teams will be competing at the Final for up to $65,000 worth of funding for their ventures:
Ag Rowe Intelligence owners Paul O’Connor and Levi Lilly have been involved in the Innovation Challenge since the fall and won $3,000 for their venture at the Seed Pitch. Ag Rowe Intelligence makes automated data collection and analysis systems for agricultural research, production greenhouses, and golf courses.
Sygentic is a startup with a vision to provide the world with safe, effective, and resistant-free products to address the world-wide danger of antibiotic resistance. Sygentic was also a $3,000 winner of the Innovation Challenge Seed Pitch this year and is headed by graduate student Ryan Landis.
PhD candidates Felipe Navarrete, Pablo Visconti, Ana Maria Salicioni, and David Martin will be pitching StarSperm, a product that addresses male fertility issues. Their research has the potential to replace current standard media and to revolutionize Assisted Reproductive techniques in different mammals for benefit of humans. Their team was awarded $2,000 at the Seed Pitch in November.
App Outreach LLC has applied to compete in each Innovation Challenge since the fall of last year. The team consists of Isenberg undergraduates Aleric Heck, Davis McVay, Rich Sadick, Jordan Ames, Matthew O'Connor, and Lauren Tse-Wal. App Outreach LLC provides all-inclusive mobile marketing services to help app companies consistently reach high quality users at scale and on-demand.
FiB is a venture that has received a lot of attention this year for their chrome extension that detects fake news on Facebook. A controversial topic coming to a head after this year’s election sparked graduate student Nabanita De to construct her team and solve a serious media issue.
Julie Bliss Mullen is a PhD candidate in Civil and Environmental Engineering that will be pitching ElectroPure. She has developed a water treatment device for homes and small community systems like schools to combat diverse water quality issues at a competitive price.
ARBioDesign members Rune Percy and Alex Smith won $500 at this year’s Seed Pitch and are pitching their idea again at the Final. ARBioDesign is developing a device that can quickly, easily, and inexpensively analyze a drop of blood to improve current, outdated dialysis treatment.
Congratulations to the Innovation Challenge Finalists!
Register here to attend the event as an audience member.