Video by Joe O'Neill
by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
It was a nail-biting final round for the 2016 Innovation Competition (IC@D), and with three strong finalist teams presenting their startup ideas to a live audience May 5, the winner was not an easy call.
Launched last year by three students with guidance from international business & management faculty and made possible through funding by a gift from Catherne '78 and Richard '75 White, the competition gives students the tools to take their startup ideas from inspiration to reality. Those whose ideas get the green light from a panel of judges are teamed with alumni mentors who help them develop a final business proposal. The final three teams are awarded seed money to get their business proposals off the ground.
Team Batometrics (Travis Nardin ’18, Hunter Tuccio ’18, Jonathan Chudacoff ’18 and Matt Persick ’18) earned first place and a $4,000 prize for its patent-pending grip technology for baseball and softball bats. Easily affixed to any bat, Lumberjack Grip is engineered to reduce risk of wrist injuries, increase player comfort and optimize hitter performance.
"We've put a lot of hard work into this, and it feels good to have all of that hard work pay off," said Nardin, the team leader, who will invest the prize money into a production mold for the grip. "Every day is a new opportunity to learn, and we cannot wait for what comes next."
Joojo Ocran ’17, Claire Brawdy ’16, Asir Saeed ’16 and Mauricio Toscano ’18 took second place ($2,000) for EventUS, a Dickinson-specific app they developed to more easily connect student and staff campus-event organizers with targeted potential audience members.
Nick Bailey ’16, John Dinsmore ’16 and Elon Gordon ’17 received $1,000 to help fund the development of Dynamo, a bicycle kit that finds a use for kinetic energy generated while riding. Whenever the rider squeezes the brakes, the energy is captured and stored inside a lithium-ion battery. The battery can then be used to power a mobile device on the go.
All three business proposals are promising, said Eddie Finocchiaro ’15, a New York investment analyst and app developer who co-founded the competition and swung by campus May 5 to attend the finalist presentations. The following day, he spoke with students in a marketing class about what he's learned as a young entrepreneur and professional.
As leader of this year's winning team, Nardin has a few pointers to share with classmates, as well.
"The competition was just as valuable to me as any class I have taken at Dickinson," he said, "and what I learned will be extremely useful to all of us on the team, as we will all soon transition into our professional lives."
Published May 6, 2016