Muncie Innovators Cash in at BIG Idea Pitch Competition

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Sydney Conn and Leena Vyas (front, center) took home first place. (photo courtesy Gerry Dick) Sydney Conn and Leena Vyas (front, center) took home first place. (photo courtesy Gerry Dick)

An invention designed to provide charging power to cell phones in underdeveloped countries and regions around the globe was the big winner in Tuesday night’s BIG Idea Pitch competition in Muncie. The Breeze Charger, designed by Sydney Conn and Leena Vyas, uses a small, fan-like device attached to slow-moving vehicles like rickshaws to generate energy. The high school juniors’ three-minute pitch landed them a $5,000 cash prize along with a menu of business development services. The event was part of the Muncie Innovation Connector’s 3rd annual Excellence in Innovation awards dinner, which attracted a sellout crowd of more than 350 technology, business and community leaders to the Horizon Convention Center.

Innovation Connector Executive Director Ted Baker said the six pitch finalists were chosen from a record field of applicants. “Starting with forty registered pitches and honoring the top six pitches was a fantastic way to celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship that is alive and well in east central Indiana,” said Baker.

Results of 2017 BIG Idea Pitch

  • 1st Place:  Sydney Conn and Leena Vyas, Breeze Charger
  • 2nd Place:  Rhett Barker, Flipside Mobile Car Wash
  • 3rd Place:  Paul Fabrick, Gutter Clutter Cleaner
  • 4th place:  Connor Bielat, SPP Camp
  • 5th Place:  Wesley Crouch, TuDr Mobile App
  • 6th place:  Amanda and Kyle Reninger, Sea Salt and Cinnamon

The Muncie Innovation Connector, which launched in 2001, is a full-service business incubator providing resources and support to area entrepreneurs and innovators.

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