Innovation pitch produces big ideas

Zach Clemens

It was a night of bright ideas at the fall 2015 Innovation Pitch held at Delta Upsilon Fraternity Thursday night.

The event had contestants pitching their business ideas in a 90-second pitch to a group of three judges in two different categories: new innovation, social venture.

The overall winner got $300 and an all-expenses paid trip to Kansas City for the Collegiate Entrepreneur Conference. There was also a winner with a prize of $100 in both categories as well as a new business and an audience favorite prize of $100.

The event was hosted by the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Learning Community at Iowa State.

The new innovation category saw inventions such as a waterproof fire starter that is made from recyclable materials, an online platform for the sale of farmland and the winner of the category was Jessica Graham, a senior in management, with her shoes that had removable high heels.

For the social venture category, Eve Iversen, a graduate student in natural resource ecology and management, won her category when she proposed the idea of growing papyrus—which is a renewable energy source and great water filter—in underdeveloped countries that “create their own engineered wetlands” to filter sewage and have a renewable energy source.

Dan Plantamura, a senior in management, won the contest last year with his monthly subscription box geared to swimmers called Swimfluence. He repeated his victory as the overall winner when he proposed a new company that will offer swimmers video training from U.S. Olympic swimmers for a subscription charge.

Ebbi Joseph, a senior in aerospace engineering, created a website called Oratis to enable students to sell textbooks to other students without an intermediary. “Our main goal is to help the students,” Joseph said. This would significantly cut down on costs of textbooks for students, he said.

The new business prize went to Mason Cooke, with his subscription beer service called Midwest Beer Club that will send a pack of local craft beers each month.

The winners were joined by the audience favorite Michael Hanigan, a junior in agricultural engineering, who came up with a new guide for grain bins that would cut down on time and labor while also reducing risk.