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Innovation Enterprises Challenge awards cash for eight business plans

The winners of the third annual UT Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan Competition were announced last week in the PNC Entreprenuership Lab in the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement in the College of Business and Innovation.

“We congratulate all 26 entrants for the extremely high-quality proposals they submitted,” said Richard Stansley Jr. of UT Innovation Enterprises. “These technologically innovative ideas clearly demonstrate creative thinking within the UT campus, which is exactly what this competition strives to foster.

Recent UT grad Kyle Keiser and senior engineering student Kyle Wasserman, showed off their first-place prize that includes $10,000 in the UT Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan Competition they won for their Slide Off Hangers business. They posed for a photo with Dan Slifko, president of Rocket Ventures, left, and Dr. Sonny Ariss, professor and chair of the Management Department.

“We are pleased to see the Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan competition, now in its third year, continues to become a critical step in developing an innovation system that includes the proper infrastructure and business tools to foster the creation of legitimate new products and services.”

“We believe the carefully conceived business ideas that won this year’s competition form a solid foundation on which these entrepreneurs can build successful businesses,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, UT professor and chair of management. “The College of Business and Innovation is pleased to have coordinated judging of these entries and stands ready to offer guidance to help these teams emerge beyond the University into the community. We want to see these ideas and business plans effectively implemented, creating jobs and enhancing the economic growth of the region.”

The winning proposals, the entrant’s names and brief descriptions of the entries are:

• First place and $10,000: Slide Off Hangers by Kyle Wasserman and Kyle Keiser — a unique hanger design that minimizes damage or stretching when removing shirts.

• Second place and $5,000: Heart Pacing Wire by Dr. Mohammad Elahinia, associate professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering — a minimally invasive nitinol temporary epicardial pacing wire used in the removal of heart sutures.

• PNC Bank Award and $2,000: LabelED by Travis Gerrard — an application study tool that enables students and faculty to interact with images via labeling and attaching notes and audio.

Receiving honorable mention and $500 were:

• KLOAK Industries by Kelsie Moeller, Lorraine Walters, Oreanna Thomas, Alton Phillips and Kelsey Ranley — a comprehensive and interactive pharmaceutical database application that makes identifying medications easy through photo recognition.

• FI-EMF Anti-Fouling Technology by Dr. Dong-Shik Kim, associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering — an innovative approach to the prevention of bio-fouling on solid surfaces using natural anti-fouling material.

• Behavior Therapy App by Dr. Cathy Shaffer, interim science education coordinator in the Department of Geography and Planning — a personal software application designed to assist patients in psychology counseling relative to cognitive behavioral therapy.

• Genius Student Planner by John Doncaster — an organizational program that enables students to more effectively manage their daily activities.

• MyTripPic by Josh Baltzell, Purnaansh Gunaicha and Scott Stocker — a business to connect people on vacation with local professional photographers to capture their photos of once-in-a-lifetime moments.

Entries for the third Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan Competition were due in October. Finalists made oral presentations about their businesses to a panel of judges in November.

Prize money is awarded to the newly formed business entity, not to the individuals.

In addition, winners of the first Northwest Ohio Innovation Challenge were announced last week. Sponsored by INCENU, Rocket Ventures and Ohio’s IT Alliance Inc., and in conjunction with the College of Business and Innovation, the contest was open to individuals and businesses throughout northwest Ohio.

The winners were:

• First place and $5,000: PhotoTwine by Aaron Harwell and Jon Hawker — a mobile application and easy-to-use photo stand for weddings and other events to share pictures and albums in real-time.

• Second place and $3,000: Bordo Tasters Tablet by Nicholas Kubiak and Lindsey Danforth — an ergonomically designed board that allows users to carry a stemmed wine glass and a notebook simultaneously.

• Third place and $2,000: Rxpectations by UT pharmacy resident Geoffrey Mospan and UT employees Valerie Householder, Cindy Puffer and Rachel Rocha — a medication therapy management service that will improve the way medications are used.

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