September 23, 2021
SIU encourages innovation with the Saluki Pitch and IDEA LAB 2021 competition
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale continues to foster innovation and creative entrepreneurship.
As the winners of the recent 2021 Saluki Pitch competition are announced, where ideas become cash, you are signing up for IDEA LAB 2021, where participants can take their ideas to the next level and compete for funding. .
“The ideas presented at this year’s Saluki Pitch Competition were innovative and unique,” said Deborah Barnett, director of the business incubator program. “As a follow-up to the pitch competition, Pitch participants, as well as anyone else, have the opportunity to further develop their concepts through IDEA Lab 2021, a six-week program designed to help innovators move from the idea phase to a real business plan. Everyone is welcome to participate in the program, which can also benefit current entrepreneurs who want to expand or pivot in a new direction. ”
The deadline to register at IDEA Lab is 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28. Additional information and online registration at incubator.siu.edu.
Constant is the main competitor of Saluki Pitch 2021
Zavi Constant, senior civil engineering engineer, earned top honors and $ 750 in the Saluki Pitch competition, with CROWD, a crowdfunding app that smaller groups can use to raise funds for a common goal. The app has a wide variety of uses – whether it’s roommates who pool money to pay rent, friends or family involved to pay for a vacation, or co-workers who combine their resources with a shared purpose. Constant also won the crowd’s favorite vote to claim an additional $ 250.
SIU alumnus and employee Kayeleigh Sharp won second place and the $ 500 prize. Sharp is the founder of EduCultureXR, which combines education, culture and virtual reality by creating practical exhibitions of virtual archeology and cultural experiences and making them accessible to the community.
Winners of innovation
The competition, which was held almost this year, also rewarded innovation, and the winners received $ 250 each. These winners, with project descriptions, were:
- Nelson Fernandes, senior mechanical engineering technician and member of the SIU Green Team, obtained a simplified guide to building temporary and economical wind turbines, mainly from household items. Turbines would provide energy to charge phones and other small electronic devices when needed, resulting in especially beneficial areas of the world where outages are common.
- Tyler Knupp, a senior computer specialist, for his concept of helping the animation industry by combining concepts from various 3D modeling programs to seamlessly incorporate full-body virtual reality tracking into 3D animation using motion capture of keyframe animations for editing.
The registered student organization of the SIU Saluki Entrepreneurship Corps, along with the SIU Research Park and Business Incubator Programs, sponsored the event. More than 30 people participated in the pitch competition workshop before the competition.
Sign up now for IDEA LAB to earn funding
IDEA LAB 2021 offers community members and faculty, staff, entrepreneurial students at SIU, along with participants in the Saluki Pitch competition, a step beyond their concepts by creating viable business plans.
Free weekly sessions will be on Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Sept. 28 through November. 2. The sessions will provide all the information needed to establish business plans and participants will be able to compete for up to $ 10,000 in funding through a business plan competition to be announced in October.
Participants can join the sessions online or in person at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center, 1740 Innovation Drive in Carbondale. The sessions will address market research, financial planning and projections, strategy and more, presented through step-by-step instructions.
Program sponsors include the SIU Research Park, SIU Business Incubator, and the SIU Illinois Small Business Development Center.
SIU is committed to protecting the community, so all people who personally attend IDEA LAB 2021 must follow current pandemic and campus security protocols and wear masks.