Young innovators and entrepreneurs faced a panel of judges at Trine University’s annual Innovation Challenge Expo.
Top projects included a product to help those with sensory disorders to rock safely, a product to help subdue tornadoes, loyalty programs for sports team fans and a cleaner way to change oil in boat motors.
The high school and college-age competitors pitched their ideas to five judges in a “Shark Tank” style competition.
“I think that the new format of live presentations added a level of realism to the pitch presentations for the entrepreneurs,” said Jason Blume, executive director of Trine innovation 1.
Students from Eastside Junior-Senior High School in Dekalb County earned top honors in the high school category.
Trine says the Bounce Back is a wedge-shaped insert that allows rocking in any chair with a back and is designed for those who use rocking as self-stimulatory behavior, such as some people with autism.
In the high school technology division, a team from Career Academy in South Bend won top honors for Project Helix, which seeks to reduce the strength of tornadoes by targeted application of sodium polyacrylate.
Competitors from Trine University presented their creative ideas as well, including a budding company called FESS LLC. Fan Experiences Strategies proposes to build unique loyalty programs for professional sports teams.
Another entry from Trine developed EZ Fill, a way to reduce oil spillage in hard-to-reach motors on boats.
Click here to read and view the full list of winners.