Hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, the four-part Innovation Challenge continued with The Seed Pitch on Wednesday, November 28. In front of a panel of industry experts, 17 teams gave five-minute pitches of their venture ideas and participated in Q&A with the judges, competing for $15,000 in equity-free funding.
TempGrams, developed by Amadeus Ahnan (PhD candidate, food science) and Mitchell Culler (PhD candidate, food science), was awarded $7,000. TempGrams are a shelf-stable, tempeh-based snack packaged as a set of seven shapes the consumer can arrange to form a puzzle, providing nourishment for the mind and body.
BACTRAC, created by Michael Hickey (PhD candidate, food science) and Alex Mills (master’s candidate, food science), was awarded $4,000. Its premise is a user-friendly, smartphone app-based approach to bacteria detection. The 'just add water'-style kits will enable users of nearly all ages and educational backgrounds to screen consumables for bacteria using a simple smartphone lens attachment.
Deadeye, developed by Jake Lisauskas (accounting/sport management), Josh Lewis (UNH, chemistry '15), Daniel Lannan (RPI, electrical engineering), Matt Madden (Springfield College, sport management), Anthony Saitta (Lasell College, communications '17), was awarded $2,000. Deadeye is reinventing the way athletes train for their sport by offering a low-cost hardware unit that wirelessly connects to a smartphone app, tracking the user’s every movement and providing targeted, real-time feedback and data.
Catalina Mixies, pitched by Ethan Lazar (economics) and Matthew Kaplan (sport management), was awarded $2,000. The company created three vodka-based, ready-to-drink cocktails, in 12-ounce cans, that are low in sugar and carbohydrates.
Next up in the Innovation Challenge series is The Semifinal, set for Wednesday, Feb. 27. This competition simulates the closed-door pitch process and teams will compete for a spot in The Final.
Judges: Nathan Green, Mike Kelley, Mack Louis
Sponsors: EY, The Heiser Family, Norman “Bud” Robertson, Kumar Ganapathy, Jeff Glassman, Darn It!, and John & Sally Burke