|Mary Holmes, Ricky Holm of GIST, Cathi Hatch|
Yesterday, I served as a Judge at the annual UW Environmental Innovation Challenge. This is around the third year I have attended and this was the best one yet! It was held in the Exhibition Hall at the Seattle Center and included 23 student teams pitching their real and potential companies that are attempting to make a difference in our environment.
|Andrei Afanasiev of Genius Lighting|
I had the opportunity to hear the 23 different teams share their passion as they pitched for no more than two minutes each. A gong rang at the end of each two minutes and the student presenters were right on track. I was so impressed with the quality of the pitches and the poise and confidence of the young entrepreneurs that my judging scores were very high. In addition to quality of the pitch, each company was also judged on the clarity and details of their one-page executive summary, the demonstration of their prototype and the potential impact to our environment.
|Wallace Kempkey, Snow Yang,
Karla Krauthamer, Kim Huynh of Pterofin
ZINO Society team members also attending the Challenge with me were Mary Holmes and Kate DesRosier. We were so proud of our current ZINO Society intern Ricky Holm, who not only did the best job of pitching but also, along with his team, Hin Kei Wong, Jessica Tanumihardja and Lloyd Pasion won the $10,000 Grand Prize for the entire competition. The name of their company is GIST which is an acronym for Green Innovative Safety Techologies and intends to eliminate the vast number of waste automotive tires plugging up our landfills by creating an environmentally friendly alternative to concrete lane separation devices. Congratulations Ricky and team!
|Chris Sheppard of UrbanHarvest|
It was great to see Andrei Afanasiev, who has participated in the past as a volunteer intern with ZINO Society, also do a great job with his pitch and company called Genius Lighting Systems which offers office owners a cellphone controlled, energy efficient and economical LED panel as a direct replacement for the fluorescent tube. His student partner is Yury Dvorkin.
Pterofin, one of my favorites from last year that also pitched at ZINO Green Investment Forum 2011, was back with a bigger and better patent-pending design that will allow wind energy to be collected in residential and commercial areas where wind is scarce with their low-impact, oscillating windmill-like winged structure with team members Mariah Gentry, Kayla Krauthamer, Kim Huynh, John Milton, Snow Yang and Wallace Kempkey.
Another impressive company was UrbanHarvest with team members Chris Sheppard and Chris Bajuk which uses hydroponic methods inside greenhouses located on leased rooftops with close proximity to customers to reduce and/or eliminate carbon emissions associated with transporting produce to market.
Big congratulations are in order for UW Foster Business School Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation leaders, Pamela Tufts and Connie Bourassa-Shaw for a very successful 2012 Environmental Innovation Challenge!