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IEI Winners Debut New Ideas Sparked By Innovation

December 3, 2018 //

With $7,000 in prize money on the line, five startups walked away with the cash to grow their ideas at the 21st Annual Innovative Idea Competition in November. The Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business hosted the contest, which focused on innovation, entrepreneurship and education.

Big ideas were transformed into reality for the five winning pitches. Grand prize winner PureTrip walked away with $3,500 in winnings for a portable, efficient and lightweight washing/drying machine concept. Created by College of Engineering (ENG) seniors Salmon Alotaibi and Yaqoub Bushehri, the PureTrip team also won the “Crowd Favorite” category.

Grand prize winners Salmon Alotaibi and Yaqoub Bushehri

“The washer can be applied in the real world in multiple ways—military, hikers and even third-world countries can use the equipment for different purposes,” says Bushehri. “We’re creating a prototype with more awareness to attract investors before commercializing and trying to figure out the rights to our idea.”

In the “Innovation” category, Athlete Crush won for a sport-specific, user-generated mobile platform that revolutionizes the way athletes and fans connect. To help athletes build and monetize their brands easily, professor Thilo Kunkel of the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) developed a way to help fans learn more about their favorite athletes, and provides athletes with a platform to promote social good through the medium of sport.

“The idea came while working with professional soccer player Michael Lahoud,” says Joonas Jokinen, Athlete Crush COO. “Michael cares deeply about his homeland of Sierra Leone. He even built a school there. But as a successful athlete, he was having trouble growing his brand. That’s where our idea and inspiration came from.”

First place “Upper Track” winner Tyrone Glover

Another pitch, Invest Out, founded by Tyrone Glover, FOX ’96, won first-place in the “Upper Track” category. Glover’s company partners home sellers with houses that could potentially sell for more if renovated with capital from interested investors.

“We’re currently beta testing the model with a limited target of area home owners and investors through www.investout.net,” says Glover.

The first-place winner in the “Undergraduate” category was Mouse Motel, a modernized mouse glue trap founded by ENG senior Paul Gehret.

“My dad and I knew how ineffective classic glue traps were and wanted to design a new one that would remedy the (mouse) problem,” says Gehret. “Mouse Motel was our solution. Through many experiments in our basement, we achieved a much higher efficiency than the glue traps that are commercially available.”

Other award-winning ideas included second-place “Upper Track” start-up Miranda, an online legal tech company that provides on-demand, 24/7 remote legal service. Founded by Fox graduate student Nikolas Revmatas, the idea came from Revmatas’ first-hand experience of navigating the U.S. legal system as an international student.  

I’ve had to figure out a fragmented legal system that is often expensive and  intimidating,” says Revmatas. “In most cases, I only needed a few minutes of a lawyer’s time. I always wished there was a way to quickly, conveniently and affordably get legal advice, so I decided to create one.”

Founded by Rahul Nimmagadda, FOX ’19, and Jonathan Huynh, FOX ’19, another second-place winner was Mailroom in the “Undergraduate Track”. Mailroom is a digital platform that connects people with trusted small businesses and peers in their community to receive packages.

“We’re looking forward to making a difference in our communities by turning ideas and prototypes into a fully functional Mailroom mobile application that consumers can use,” says Nimmagadda. “We’re hoping that by this time next year, we’ll be making a dent in the package delivery problems that Philadelphians face.”

List of Winners

GRAND PRIZE

PureTrip – Salmon Alotaibi, ENG ’19 & Yaqoub Bushehri, ENG ’19

GLOBAL INNOVATION PRIZE

Athlete Crush – Thilo Kunkel, School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management

1ST PLACE – UPPER TRACK

Invest Out – Tyrone Glover, FOX ’96

2ND PLACE – UPPER TRACK

Miranda – Nikolas Revmatas, FOX ’19

1ST PLACE – UNDERGRADUATE TRACK

Mouse Motel – Paul Gehret, ENG ’19

2ND PLACE – UNDERGRADUATE TRACK

Mailroom – Rahul Nimmagadda, FOX ’19 & Jonathan Huynh, FOX ’19

1ST PLACE – CROWD FAVORITE

PureTrip – Salmon Alotaibi, ENG ’19 & Yaqoub Bushehri, ENG ’19

2ND PLACE – CROWD FAVORITE

Mailroom – Rahul Nimmagadda, FOX ’19 & Jonathan Huynh, FOX ’19

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