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Latest Rainforest Pitch Competition a Success

STC and the UNM Innovation Academy co-hosted their seventh Rainforest Student Pitch Competition on the evening of April 16 at Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.  This popular community event recognizes student entrepreneurs in the state. The pitch competition was an opportunity for aspiring student entrepreneurs to present their innovative ideas for products, services and technologies to local entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals.  The competition is open to currently enrolled students from any university in the state of New Mexico.

In the initial round, students submitted video pitches.  Judges chose ten finalists who pitched their innovations in 60-90 second presentations in the final round at Bow & Arrow.  The audience voted for one audience choice award of $1,000.  A panel of judges (entrepreneurs, investors, and business professionals) chose four finalists for a judges’ choice award of $750 each.  The remaining five finalists received cash awards of $250.  Below is the list of winners:

Audience Choice Award ($1,000 prize)
Daneila Fry, Dipped By Dee, chocolate confectionary treats

Judges’ Choice Award ($750 each)
Tye Martin, personal wheelchair accessories
Mercedes Ortega-Kennedy, FinTech/financial education digital platform
Alissa Chavez, EasyFlo, new innovative baby bottle
Norman Julio Lanz, Fashme, fashion App

Finalist Award ($250 each)
Matt Rush and Jane Nguyen, prosthetic leg
Benjamin Matheson, BioTums, alternative treatment to fecal microbiota transplant (FMT)
Mostafa Peysokhan, device for squeezing plastic bags at home
Darnell Cuylear, hydrogels for drug delivery to improve patient experience
Robert Malakhov, SPHere wRapped 360o mUlti Lensless camEra
Phuong Anh Nguyen, color-coded rack system

STC and the Innovation Academy wishes to thank the following panel of judges:  Mark Chavez, CEO of MyLens, Mathis Shinnick, CEO of OptiPulse, and Harry Pappas, CEO of BioSafe.

A big thank you also to the sponsors for the event:  Nusenda Credit Union, Bow & Arrow Brewing Co., and the UNM Center for Biomedical Engineering.

To learn more about one of the participants, see Sara Yingling’s May 3, 2018 story, “UNM student designs plastic bag compressing device,” from KRQE at http://www.krqe.com/news/albuquerque-metro/unm-student-designs-plastic-bag-compressing-device/1156976989.