In a recent funding competition, seven University of Arkansas won as much as $2,000 each in seed funding.
The UA Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, as well as the UA School of Law, hosted the competition, in which teams pitched their companies, products or services to a panel of judges, which consisted of local investors, entrepreneurs and business leaders. These judges included Jeff Amerine, Ellen Brune, Rogelio Garcia Contreras, Meredith Lowry, Bjorn Simmons and Maf Sonko.
The winning undergraduates and graduate students will be able to utilize the seed funding for prototype development, customer discovery, design and legal matters.
The seven teams that received funding include: Airkart, Bullyproof, Gasoline Runoff Project, Nivera Icephobic, Simple + Sweet ice cream, Synflo, and a project focusing on sustainable concrete.
Airkart is a mobile medical storage cart, and its team includes Zain Blackwell, Mitchell Belz, Morgan Burns, Gabriel David, Smit Patel and Sasey Thurmon. The team is planning to use the funding to develop a prototype and potentially add a lift system to it.
Bullyproof is a project developed by Liz Alspach, Amanda Earhat and Joe Macaluso that aims to “halt workplace toxicity with in-depth training” using greater human resources language from a proprietary terminology database. This funding will allow the project to move from wireframe stage to testing.
The Gasoline Runoff Project team has created a nozzle attachment that is designed to prevent gas spills at the pump. This team consists of Julia Davis, Emma Choate, Caleb Hill, Mary Pham, Isha Rajaram, Sailesh Sirigineedi and Halle Schneidewind.
Nivera Icephobic is product designed to prevent ice from coating a surface. The product, developed by Giselle Toledo, can be used to protect energy infrastructure or combat food waste, according to a university release. The funding will be used to test the product, focusing on ice accumulation on cell towers.
Simple + Sweet ice cream is a locally-sourced ice cream company established by Coleman Warren that donates a portion of its revenue to the NWA Food Bank.
Synflo has developed a new vascular graft, and the company consists of Grayson Morrow, Astha Malhotra and Emily Wiencek. The team will use the funding to pay for consulting related to regulatory issues.
The sustainable concrete project, developed by Maddie Heal, would create new concrete material from fly ash and recycled plastics.