UOW Pitch 2014 a festival of innovation

UOW Pitch 2014 a festival of innovation

Staff and students with innovative ideas share in $40,000 cash prizes to help turn their bright ideas into reality.

UOW student Chris Nicholson won the Undergraduate category of the UOW Pitch Competition with his handcrafted caskets. He is pictured with UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings and iAccelerate CEO Elizabeth Eastland.

Implants for nerve reconstruction, environmentally friendly funeral caskets and even an optical fibre with built-in solar power generating capability were among the next batch of UOW’s big ideas revealed at the UOW Pitch 2014 awards ceremony on Thursday 28 August.

The Pitch competition, now in its second year, is helping staff and students turn their innovative ideas into reality while at the same time fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within the University.

The Pitch competition prize pool was increased for 2014 to accommodate and reward the increasingly new and interesting ideas being entered.

The winning staff and students from three categories – postgraduate students, undergraduate students and staff – were announced and presented with their prizes at a ceremony at Three Chimneys bar in Wollongong last night.

Through the support of SAF funding and industry sponsorship from Davies Collison Cave, Internetrix and NuMega, the UOW Pitch 2014 competition, is designed to build on the success of iAccelerate and further promote student and staff involvement in entrepreneurialism and the commercialisation of ideas, inventions and research outcomes at UOW.

This year we also saw the inclusion of iAccelerate Scholarships being awarded to five student teams.

Shortlisted entrants received Pitch Training and were required to present a five-minute pitch to a panel of experts.

iAccelerate CEO and Director of Innovation and Commercial Research Ms Elizabeth Eastland said the UOW Pitch competition was about finding the bright, energetic entrepreneurial-minded people who are passionate about their ideas but may lack the necessary financial resources to pursue them.

“We want to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within the UOW community that will have flow-on benefits for the region and its transformation into a technology hub.

“Congratulations to all the amazing entrants who have been working hard and challenging themselves to take an idea they may have been thinking about for a long time and using the Pitch Competition as a way to kick start the process of turning the idea into reality.”

Awards were presented by UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Judy Raper and sponsors William Hird from Davies Collison Cave, Daniel Rowan from Internetrix and Craig Patch from NuMega.

View the photo gallery.

UOW Pitch 2014 winners

Postgraduate Student category
Winner ($6000): Next Generation Of Textile Scaffolds For Nerve Reconstruction - Rodrigo Lozano, Syamak Farajikhah, Javad Foroughi. 
Runner up ($4000): A Novel Device For Oil Collection And Separation From Water Surface - Yuhai Dou
Encouragement award ($3000): Inexpensive Mri Magnet System - Dipak Patel
Encouragement award ($1000): Bestfit Smart Phone Application - Jessica Oliver, Clifford Lewis, Matthew Clark
Best pitch ($2000): Bestfit Smart Phone Application - Jessica Oliver, Clifford Lewis, Matthew Clark

Undergraduate student category
Winner ($6000): Australian Handcrafted Caskets - Chris Nicholson
Runner up ($4000): Slip-angle sensor - Nathan Tarlinton
Encouragement award ($2000): UOW.Link - Thomas Headland
Best pitch ($2000): Australian Handcrafted Caskets - Chris Nicholson

Staff Category
Winner ($6000):  Sparky Fibre - Atilla Mozer, Tillmann Boehme, Brad Stappenbelt
Runner up ($4000): High Efficiency modular Micro wind based electricity generator - Buyung Kosasih
Encouragement award ($1000): Early Years Digital Sketch Book - Holly Tootell, Mark Freeman & Grant Ellmers
Best pitch ($2000): Sparky Fibre - Atilla Mozer, Tillmann Boehme, Brad Stappenbelt

iAccelerate Scholarship recipients
Social Entrepreneurship - Chris Nicholson – Australian Handcrafted Caskets
iAccelerate Program for Female Entrepreneurs - Jess Nesbitt, Thomas Guest – Flatmates
iAccelerate Program x 3 - Attila Mozer, Tillmann Boehme, Brad Strappenbelt for Sparkey Fibre, Nathan Tarlinto for Slip – Angle-Sensor, Andre Suber for BlackBox Safety Cam