Pitching innovation

Mar 27, 2009

Sixteen ideas were pitched for cash awards, and hundreds clicked to vote on videos, during the 2009 Innovation Challenge at Kettering University.

And the winner is …. SweetPackageDude.com

Student Alex Dudick won the top prize of $1,000 during the 2009 Innovation Challenge at Kettering University.  His idea and video featured a concept for a college student registry called “SweetPackageDude.com.”

“It’s like a bridal registry for students to direct friends and family members to if they are interested in sending supplies, food or gifts that the student indicates is needed or desired,” said Dudick, a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student from South Lyon, Mich.

See SweetPackageDude.com and all the video pitches at the Kettering channel on YouTube.com at http://www.kettering.edu/orgs/kuinnovation/

The Innovation Challenge has two phases – innovation and commercialization, according to Art DeMonte, professor of Entrepreneurship at Kettering.  “Each phase is in separate teaching terms,” he said.

In the Commercialization Phase, students will provide more details on how to build their idea into a commercial opportunity and a video pitch, DeMonte said.  They will also submit a five-page executive summary that covers marketing and financial projections.

“We just love the Web 2.0 aspect of this,” DeMonte continued.  “The YouTube pitch and student voting made this a fun way to experiment with entrepreneurship and get students thinking how they can innovate, create and build a product or company.  Innovative thinking will make our graduates a very sought after commodity.”  

Two runner-up innovation pitches won $500 each. Uttam Dharanappa, an MBA student from Australia, pitched a free wireless service based on sponsored advertising –  called ZurfTurf.  Eric Binnendyk, a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student from Zeeland, Mich., pitched a free GPS navigation unit for autos – Nada Navigation – which would highlight sponsored locations in real time.

Honorable mentions went to FlexBooks team of Andrew Young and Mathieu Setliff, and Presence Sensing Technology in Automation Safety team of Chandramouli Venkatesan and Kevin LeCureux.

Kettering President Stan Liberty and Provost Michael Harris awarded the three top awards March 25 in the University’s Great Court of the Campus Center.  

For more information, contact Art DeMonte at ademonte@kettering.edu or Sunny Park at spark@kettering.edu