NATCHITOCHES – A team of students whose idea is to develop a device that creates a way to prevent drivers from driving after they have been drinking or stop them from driving while drinking were named winners of Northwestern State University’s inaugural Inferno Pitch, an entrepreneurial and business competition intended to provide NSU students with experience in developing a commercial product from inception to pitching the product to investors.
Alba Maloff Johnson and Matthew Broekman pitched the IDP Tech concept to a panel of judges in a format similar to Shark Tank in which aspiring entrepreneurs make business presentations to a panel of investors who then choose whether to invest as business partners.
Each team of students did extensive research and presented their ideas to the panel of judges as well as a large audience.
With the first place finish, Johnson and Broekman won $3,000, a scholarship to Louisiana Startup Prize 2019, a scholarship to the Patent Academy and six months of professional services from the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program.
Second place winners are the team of Brooke Smith, Kamamalu Nishihira-Asuncion, Kennedy Cullen and Kortney Greer for Safe Shackles, a product that can be used to detect Sexually Transmitted Infections. Second place includes a $1,000, a scholarship to the Patent Academy and six months of professional services from the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program.
Third place winner Joshua Johnson pitched In the Field Communication, a communication device that helps officers move from the vehicle to outside the car. Third place prize is $500, a scholarship to the Patent Academy and six months of professional services from the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program.
“We had a wonderful turnout for our inaugural Inferno Pitch Business Plan Competition,” said Dr. Carmella Parker, an organizer of the event. “We believe that our partner, Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program, was extremely pleased with our efforts to make this a successful event. Additionally, our faculty and our students enjoyed the Top 5 presentations and are looking forward to seeing the next year’s Final Pitch.”
The Inferno Pitch was sponsored by the Entrepreneurial Accelerator Program (EAP), a division Biomedical Research Foundation (BRF). BRF, is a public/private partnership between BRF, the Caddo Parish Commission and the City of Shreveport to diversify the regional economy, create jobs and expand the area’s tax base by providing services to innovative startups that have high growth potential. Since EAP began in July 2014, the program has screened more than 690 startups and provided services to more than 220 companies.
We are extremely appreciative of our contestants, faculty members, staff members, as well as our industry and business mentors and guest judges.
More information about the Inferno Pitch is available at infernopitch.com. Information on EAP is available at http://eapla.com/team/.