Center for Entrepreneurship hosts Sixth Annual Idea Pitch Competition

Jasmine Grillmeier
April 27, 2016

ATHENS, OH (April 26, 2016)— The Center for Entrepreneurship at Ohio University hosted its Sixth Annual Bobcat Idea Pitch competition during the Student Research Expo at the Convocation Center on Thursday, April 14.

The 12 teams selected for the competition vied for cash prizes by completing a 10-minute pitch to a panel of judges from TechGROWTH Ohio, the Ohio University Innovation Center, Cooley LLP, Mass Ventures and former pitch competitors.

“The competition featured a group of very impressive companies and all the entrepreneurs pitched effectively and professionally, making an easy job for the judges,” Michele Miglioulo, competition judge and executive-in-residence at TechGROWTH Ohio, said. “I was pleased to see very worthy social ventures to come out on top.”

Husam Abu Hajar’s pitch for Solid Waste Management for Energy Recovery received $1,200 and first place. Hajar’s proposal addresses the environmental problem associated with enormous quantities of municipal solid wastes from Zaatari Camp — one of the largest refugee camps in the world located in Northern Jordan — by using the organic solid wastes to generate electricity that can be sold to the grid. This approach attempts to not only mitigate the adverse environmental impacts of landfilling these wastes, but also to create jobs within the local communities and produce a profit.

“Competing with so many brilliant ideas and winning first place means so much to me,” Hajar said. “It is a motivation for me to make this idea a reality in the near future.”

Team HeadSmart, composed of Alex Geiser, Zach Taylor, Patrick Hanlon and John Herbert, took second place and an $800 prize for their helmet-mounted accelerometer system that aims to detect potentially dangerous head impacts within youth football. The prototype includes an LED indicator system that correlates the intensity of the hit to the number of lights shown.

Alexander Jones won third place and $500 for pitching a biomimetic approach to watershed restoration that uses fungi as a living filter to remove metals, specifically iron. His project, “Myco-remediation of acid mine drainage (AMD) using native species of fungi," offers a low-tech, cost-effective option that does not rely on inputs of industrial materials, such in the case of lime dosing and steel slag beds,  to function.

The 2016 Pitch judges were Noah Rosenblatt, first-place winner of the 2015 Expo Pitch; Godfrey Ogallo, third-place winner of the 2015 Expo Pitch; Carl Grant, executive vice president of business development at Cooley LLP; Paul Mass, president and CEO at Mass Ventures; Michele Miglioulo, executive-in-residence at TechGROWTH Ohio; and Jennifer Simon, director of the Ohio University Innovation Center.

About the Idea Pitch Competition

The Center for Entrepreneurship’s Idea Pitch Competition enables young, aspiring entrepreneurs to practice developing, researching and articulating their ideas in a fast-paced, fun forum. Participants learn how to effectively pitch an idea before judges, demonstrate why their idea is going to work and to do so in a short amount of time.

About the Center for Entrepreneurship

The Center for Entrepreneurship is a partnership between the College of Business and the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs.