Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Second annual IE Challenge awards cash for eight business plans

The winners of the second annual University of Toledo IE Challenge Business Plan Competition were announced on Thursday, November 10 at the annual Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Hall of Fame Awards at the Pinnacle in Maumee.

“We congratulate all 18 entrants for the extremely high quality proposals they submitted,” noted Richard Stansley, Jr., UT Innovation Enterprises. “These technologically innovative ideas clearly demonstrate creative thinking within the UT campus, which is exactly what this competition strives to foster. We are pleased to see the IE Challenge Business Plan competition 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 winning carefully constructed business plans in this year’s competition form a solid foundation on which these entrepreneurs can build successful businesses,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, UT College of Business and Innovation (COBI) said. “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 name and a brief description of the winning entries are:

First Place Winner ($10,000) is Sunnyfuels LLC (Mahabala Adiga) Sunnyfuels LLC: The products that Sunnyfuels LLC will be manufacturing will be: 1) Cost-effective, energy efficient PEM/membrane electrolyzers for cheaper hydrogen production from solar, wind, or other power sources and 2) Low cost, light weight portable hydrogen compressors to compress hydrogen greater than 200 psig for small fuel cell generators.

Second Place Winner ($5,000) is Expandable Intervertebral Cage (Mohammad Elahinia) - Expandable Intervertebral Cage will manufacture a shape memory alloy (Nitinol) cage that will be used in the correction of spinal injuries, providing a smaller surgical footprint, leading to a faster recovery period.

Third Place Winner ($2,500) is Nanospection (Christopher M. Hessler) - The products that Nanospection will develop are cost-effective nano gold/silver coated slides which have a number of potential applications such as optical sensing, environmental monitoring and chemical detection.

Honorable Mention ($500)
• (Jake Moritz)
• Dynamic and Smart Systems Lab (Ahmadreza Eshghinejad)
• MySport Highlights (Zac Rosenbauer)
• Resonance Group Ltd. (Jason Owens)
• (Dane Theisen)

Entries for the second IE Challenge Business Plan Competition were due in October. Finalists made an oral presentation about their businesses to a panel of judges on November 3. Prize money is awarded to established business entity, not to the individuals.

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