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Contact: Eric Lee

Engineering Instructor,


The Great Outdoors Challenge

Aera Dome What to do about healthy food production in dense, urban environments? The Aera Dome team is offering a semi-automated aeroponic system that grows 21 plants from seedlings to maturity in about one cubic foot. The team is made up of Clackamas Community College students Hannah Reed, who will be pursuing an environmental science degree at Oregon State University starting next year; and Bram Fouts, a computer science student who will be transferring to Portland State University in the Fall. 

The Bobber This team developed a motorized fishing bobber that moves and connects via Bluetooth for advanced controls leading to more exciting and effective fishing. With agitation patterns designed to lure different kinds of fish and in different kinds of conditions, The Bobber is the smart fishing accessory for the high-tech Pacific Northwest. The Bobber team is led by CCC student German 

Clackamas Community College



Wilson Zehr

Business Faculty,


Kula Dudes is addressing a dearth of male role models by creating a program of yoga for men, by men for the betterment of all. “Kula” means a community of choice and the program framework is focused on non-violence, truthfulness, non-excess, self-discipline, contentment and more. It offers men strength training through asana practice and guidance for healthy living through mindfulness training,and accountability in an environment of brotherhood and support. Kula Dudes is made up of Leslie Thomas, a marketing student; Michael Herbst, a health and wellness student; Peter Eke, an exercise science student; and Spencer Harber, a kinesiology professor, yoga instructor and health and wellness coach.

School Marm Treats takes on the problem of chronic disease by offering a line of healthy, low-sugar, vegan treats that include a dose of health education. School Marm Treats believes that teaching people about their food empowers them to make better choices for their health through our product education. They will also offer food comparisons, recipes, kids’ activities, and community events based on education and awareness of food options. School Marm Treats is made up of Kurtis Russell, a film student; Michelle Russell, an education instructor; and Kevin Russell. 

Eastern Oregon University


Gary Spivey, Ph.D.

Director of Engineering Projects,


Servant Engineering Challenge

GrowCube is aimed squarely at STEM education and making the growing and harvesting of plants easy for schools of all types and locations. Developed for education with an accompanying curriculum, the cube allows students to test the effects of environmental factors on plant growth. The George Fox team is made up of Chris Lamb, a senior in electrical engineering; Cole Waibel and Jonmichael Weaver, mechanical engineering students; and Trevor Martin, captain of the George Fox soccer team.

SitAct Most of us have lousy posture and the students behind SitAct want to do something about it. The product is a pad that will measure and analyze your posture when you sit on it and sends alerts to your computer when better posture adjustments are needed. The George Fox team is made up of Dwain Lucas Baumgartner, Alex Burt, and Zach Caddock,  junior electrical engineering students; Jake Whipple, a junior studying computer engineering; and Josh Williams a junior in mechanical engineering.

George Fox University


Contact: Hallie Neupert

Special Assitant to the Provost,


Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge

Orbit Owls want to improve access to space for science-based researchers with a biofuel-powered, carbon-neutral rocket that is scaled to cater to the CubeSat market, a rapidly growing sector that involves sending compact satellites into space to collect data. Orbit Owls sees their solution providing better data for climate models, forming the backbone of  space-based internet access, and spurring innovation in futuristic industries. The Oregon Tech team is made up of Micah Makana, a newly minted OIT grad who will study aerodynamic control systems in graduate school; Brandon Camp, a mechanical engineering student; and David Minar, an engineering student and president of Oregon Tech Rocketry & Aerospace. 

Lit When the human race discovered fire, it was a significant anthropological step forward. Now the Lit team is taking the flame and bringing it to the 21st Century. The invention transfers heat from a candle into electricity to charge devices like phones. Should be useful at camp sites. The Oregon Tech team is made up of students including Avery McMillan, DJ Harryman, Ethan Cole and Connor Scott. 



Dale McCauley



Halo Holds are designed for rock climbing gym owners looking to make use of limited space and make newcomers to the sport more comfortable. These “smart” climbing holds adjust routes to a variety of levels and are marketed to indoor gyms. The team is made up of members of OSU’s Sports Engineering Club including mechanical engineering students Timothy Slama, Michael Levy, Ben Lowe, Evan Leglar, Bryan Kelly, Claire Diller, and Andy Browne; and chemical engineering students Noemie Midrez and Alec Westbrook.

The SIP detects lead in drinking water with an aim to help schools, workplaces, and homes avoid possible long term detrimental effects on health by preventing people from unknowingly consuming lead in their water. The OSU team behind The SIP includes industrial engineering student John McCarthy; chemical engineering students Riley Humbert, Lauren Lippman, and Zavi Kaul; electrical and computer engineering student Thomas Snyder; and finance and accounting student Tyler Loescher. 


Oregon State University

Royal Family Adventures is a nonprofit company that arranges affordable vacations for low-income families. Royal Family negotiates discounts based on guaranteed repeat attendance with the aim of improving the mental health and environmental awareness of families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to travel and take time off. The group also focuses on forging social relationships during trips. The PCC team is comprised of Mike Lord, who brings marketing experience; Sky Grady, a social media specialist; Alan Salazar, a chef; and Irvin Rojas, an accounting student. 

Sunlight Bites is seeking to solve the lack of access to plant-based convenience foods by providing local produce and ready-to-eat snacks directly to employees in workplaces. The Sunlight Bites team is made up of Portland Community College students with a passion for nutrition and plant-based diets, Lora Schmuecker and Noemy Orozco.

Portland Community College




Carolina Selva

Faculty Department Chair

PCC Southeast


Heidi Sickert

Adjunct Faculty

PCC Cascade




PCC Pitch Fest


Juan Barraza

Director Student Innovation


PSU Cleantech Challenge

Bio CleanTech is setting out to design the perfect collaboration between lab researchers, wastewater treatment plant operators, and microbes. By starting in the lab with the purification of wastewater by removing phosphorus and nitrogen with the use of specific kinds of bacteria, the team’s aim is to reduce the number of chemicals used in wastewater treatment plants and improve the effectiveness of the process at scale. The team includes Bashar Al-Daomi, a PhD student in environmental engineering, and Mohammad Osman an engineer and PSU alum.

SMO Solutions The SMO in SMO Solutions stands for “symbiotically modified organism,” and the team is developing one: a new plant system that does not compete with food production, can address atmospheric carbon dioxide issues, can grow in inhospitable environments, and provide the biomass fuel necessary to move society away from its dependence on fossil fuels. The microbe-plant system the team is working with—Red Alder with a nitrogen-fixing bacteria called Fankia—shows potential as an alternative to Poplar as a source for woody biomass. The PSU team is made up of Emily Wolfe, PhD candidate in Biology; Daniel Ballhorn, associate professor of Biology; and Mehmet Balkan at Biology researcher.

Portland State University


James Rittenbach



Rogue Inventors

Turner Motor Company has developed a low-cost device that can convert an existing gas-burning engine to burn hydrogen instead. The conversion is performed via an adapter plate that preserves the old fuel system, so you can switch back to gasoline at any time. The RCC team is made up of mechanical engineering students Blake Turner and Harley Bruno; and film student Mel Turner.

Mission Franklini is named for the now-extinct Franklin's bumblebee. More than half of North America's 4,000 native bee species have been shown to be in serious decline and this RCC team is using technology to provide scientists with a tool to autonomously track bee populations, providing an early warning system for scientists. Mission Franklini is made up of Nicholas Mantheakis, a biology student; Uriah Barrows, a physics student; and Thomas Close, an engineering student.  



Katherine Harmon

Program Manager

Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship

Nathan Lillegard

Program Manager

Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship

Quack Hatch

Algotek is taking on the problem of single-use plastics with the development of a 100% biodegradable algae-based polymer. The zero-waste material — it degrades in liquid once it’s submerged — takes 30% less energy to produce with feedstocks that are less expensive than the ones used to make environmentally troublesome plastic. The UO team is made up of David Crinnion, a senior with a focus on sustainability; Tyler Young, senior economics and business student; Tanner Stickling, senior studying product design and business; and Justin Lebuhn, a senior in environmental science.

Feros Freight Innovation seeks to reduce trucking emissions by equipping trailers with batteries and electric powertrain to provide power-assist to diesel semi-trucks, essentially turning them into big hybrids and facilitating the eventual transition to fully electric fleets. The team is made up of UO MBA students Michael Chisolm, Jedidiah Womack, and Nha Ha; along with Jordan Ford, a doctorate student studying robotics at Carnegie Mellon University

Rogue Community College
University of Oregon



Peter Rachor

Director for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Franz center

$100k Challenge Venture Competition

Produce Mate is a silicone kitchen mat— for the countertop, fruit bowl, or crisper drawer—that extends the life of fruits and vegetables by up to 44 percent. The silicone deters the growth of produce-damaging bacteria resulting in a longer shelf life for fruits and vegetables. The University of Portland team is led by Dagan Kay, a philosophy major and experienced entrepreneur; and experienced business owners David Kay and John Underwood.

TrailHungry  is making a multipurpose water filtration and backpacking infrastructure unit for use by aid workers and recreation enthusiasts alike. The unit, called the UKA, is a large-volume gravity-powered water filter, camp table, chair and pack basket — all in one. The TrailHungry team is made up of University of Portland MBA students Theodore B. Babuka, and Adam E. Babuka, the UKA’s inventor, a former community development worker in developing nations, and an employee at Daimler Trucks North America. 

University of Portland



Jarvez Hall

Instructor for Social Entrepreneurship

College Pitch NW

Lyfe Tech William Luckett and Alex Figueroa, both student athletes at Warner Pacific College, have developed LYFE TECH  in response to recent school shootings. The LYFE (it stands for Leave Yesterday’s Fears Extinct) system will deploy kevlar vests inside classrooms in the event of active shooter situations.

Warner Pacific University
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