Thursday, October 27, 2016

Triton Innovation Challenge Awards $20,000 to Environmental Business Ideas

Since applying to the Triton Innovation Challenge a little over a week ago, the newly picked contestants are now diligently preparing for the semi-finals on November 16 and the final event on November 29.

Participants include students, faculty and staff, and all participants are eligible to receive up to $20,000 in cash prizes, as well as up to $300,000 in investment funds from the Rady Venture Fund and Triton Technology Fund.

The von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center will provide mentors for the teams from the Jacobs School of Engineering. A project led by faculty member Brandon Reynante, titled Life Cycled Materials, is a prototype aimed at recycling paper and plastic into durable building materials. Another project is Power Reef by Engineering student Nicholas Bouck, which is a renewable ocean-powered fuel source to reduce air pollution caused by fossil fuels. Another project to reduce air pollution is Sky Scrub by Elizabeth Johnson, a concept to put specialized plates in automobiles to ionize smog.

For the specialized Social Innovation Track, One Village Solar Tiki Torch will represent Global Ties from the Jacobs School of Engineering. The team, led by Nate Vanta, will be required to present an effective minute-long elevator speech.

Alumni of the Triton Innovation Challenge say that the entire event provides a unique opportunity to network. Past participants believe the event is useful for teaching contestants how to transform their knowledge of innovative technology into a successful business plan.

Because the event is co-sponsored by the Jacobs School of Engineering, Rady School of Management, and Scripps Institute of Oceanography, all three organizations have provided judges to rate applicants’ submissions. The Jacobs School of Engineering judges were Larry Morgan, Mike Krupp, and Lori Deaton, all of whom are from the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center.  25 teams applied for the Triton Innovation Challenge and the top 16 teams were selected by the judges for the semi-finals.  

11 teams will present seven-minute pitches at the semi-final competition on November 16 for five spots at the final event on November 29.  Five teams in the social track will present 1-minute elevator pitches for three spots at the final event. 

The teams are excitedly working on the presentations of their products and ideas. Stay tuned to see how the Jacobs School of Engineering teams fare. For more information on the challenge, visit Rady’s website here.

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