Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Thank you to all of the students that came out and showed support for their peers at the spring 2017 IdeaStorm event! The room was packed with nearly 70 students who brought a lot of energy and excitement.

There were 33 student business ideas pitched at IdeaStorm, with several students pitching more than one business idea. The ideas ranged from puppy rental services to lawn care technologies to personalized wooden utensils – and everything in between! Three student entrepreneur judges involved in Founders Club, the University of Iowa’s student business incubator, listened to pitches and chose five winners. Congratulations to those who were awarded cash prizes for their ideas!

Winner Name                          Business Idea                          Prize Money

Basil Chatha                               WayFind                                        $500

Nathan Haas                               Intelimerge                                    $400

Hunter Haws                               Trifly                                               $300

Cecilia Wolf                                 Biogest                                          $200

Malik Salsberry                           TravelBox                                      $100

Basil Chatha, a Chemistry and Computer Science major, placed first and won $500 for his business idea called WayFind. He pitched the concept of an indoor positioning mobile application that helps users navigate venues not traditionally mapped by popular platforms like Google and Apple Maps – places like hospitals, convention centers, and shopping malls. WayFind would use an indoor positioning technology to help track users within these venues (as this cannot be done with GPS) to help accomplish this task, and give the best user experience.

Nathan Haas, a Civil Engineering student with a focus in transportation, won 2nd place and $400 for his business idea Intelimerge. He proposed a technology that would help reduce traffic deaths and accidents through computer monitoring of traffic patterns. Cars would be redirected based on the computer’s findings, which would reduce accidents due to traffic congestion and save road construction workers’ lives.

Hunter Haws. one of the leaders of the University Triathlon Club Dare to Tri, won $300 and third place for his idea called Trifly. He explained the struggles of completing a triathlon. Participants often carry two pairs of shoes throughout the entire event – one pair for running and one pair for biking. His idea is to make a shoe that can triathlon participants can comfortably wear through both activities, eliminating the need to buy an extra pair of shoes and carry them during the event.

Cecilia Wolf, a Civil and Environmental Engineering student, won fourth place and $200 for her Biogest technology. She proposed an eco-friendly energy system that would consume natural matter – garbage, dirt, and other household waste products – and turn it into methane gas. This gas could then be used to power homes and businesses.

Malik Salsberry, an Enterprise Leadership major, won $100 and fifth place with his idea for a personalized travel toiletries delivery system. His business idea, TravelBox, would allow travelers to individually select what toiletry items they need for an upcoming trip. After they have selected their items, they plug in the address of their hotel and their arrival date. The TravelBox arrives at the hotel desk  ready to go, so busy travelers don’t need to waste suitcase space with bulky toiletry products.