Purdue University Northwest has named the three winners of its Big Sell competition held at the university’s College of Business and College of Technology. PNW says 12 finalists delivered six-minute pitches to a three-member panel of judges made up of local entrepreneurs.
Richard Christakes received the $10,000 top prize for Ship My Plants, which aims to minimize stress on plants and reduce carbon emissions by matching plant enthusiasts with the closest possible sellers.
Drew Jarvis and Cindy Belardo won the $3,000 second place prize for Sunny, a reusable menstrual cup with an applicator. Belardo recently appeared on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick to talk about the product and the company’s recent sales boom thanks to a viral video.
The $1,000 third place prize went to Dan Durochik for Alert Lift, an automatic garage door opener with an integrated carbon monoxide detector that would trigger the garage to open if high levels of carbon monoxide are detected.
“Year after year the PNW Big Sell showcases the innovation and entrepreneurship in Northwest Indiana,” Kristin Burton, assistant professor of entrepreneurship, said in written remakrs. “Each year I am excited to see what business ideas and concepts will be presented. I encourage all aspiring entrepreneurs to consider presenting their business ideas at the PNW Big Sell next year.”
The panel of judges included entrepreneurs Rockland Page, Emily Edwards, and Scott Massey, who all received awards in previous Big Sell competitions.