Indiana companies are in the mix for a NASA initiative designed to address key issues on Earth and potentially help clear technological hurdles in space. Lafayette-based Junior Tube and LOOK, which develop apps that search for and organize age-appropriate online teaching and learning videos, and Green Fortress Engineering, a Greensburg-based hydrogen storage company, are among 25 semifinalists for this year’s NASA’s iTech competition.

Finalists will be announced December 18 and will receive mentoring and advance to a January presentation event that will include agency and space industry leaders.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Junior Tube and LOOK founder and Chief Executive Officer Nelu Lazar says being picked as a semifinalist is a positive step for his startups. "It validates our ideas and kind of encourages us to move forward," he said. "The products that are part of the 25 semifinalists are really great ideas — both software and hardware technologies that were selected." Lazar says he hopes the competition will help expand the reach of his products into additional focus areas relevant to NASA and its partners.

Junior Tube and LOOK have joined forces to enter the Augmented Reality Advancement category by presenting visual resources designed to help user overcome challenges. Green Fortress Engineering is entered in the X-Factor Innovation category for technology involving what it describes as "orthogonal loops in a circular cislunar economy."

Three winners will be recognized at the end of the NASA iTech Cycle 3 Forum February 1 and will continue to receive mentoring through NASA after the forum to help boost commercialization potential. You can connect to more about the iTech competition by clicking here.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Junior Tube and LOOK founder and Chief Executive Officer Nelu Lazar says being picked as a semifinalist is a positive step for his startups.

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