Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Pamplin Media Group - Student business ideas to save the environment - Pamplin Media Group

Seven teams advance in Portland State University's annual Cleantech Challenge

COURTESY PSU - Students display their inventions at the 2017 Cleantech Challenge. A biodegradable helmet for scooter and bike riders.

A device to clean up plastic litter.

Those and other 'clean tech' business ideas will take center state at TechFest NW in April, when seven student teams of budding inventor/entrepreneurs will compete for a $10,000 prize in the PSU Cleantech Challenge.

The student teams made it through the first round of the seventh-annual competition, and get to make their pitches to investors and others active in the clean tech field. Each team now gets $1,500 to develop prototypes for environmentally beneficial products or other innovations, to present their ideas on April 5 at Portland State University's Viking Pavilion.

The seven teams' business names and ideas are:

• Excellent Devices: an early warning system for forest fires

• Living Window: a hydroponic system for growing food in the home  

• Meals by the Day: a meal-planning app designed to prevent food waste

• Mussel: a device for cleaning up floating plastics in rivers and lakes

• Protechable: a biodegradable helmet for bike and scooter riders

• SanctuAIRy: a technology for improving air quality in commercial aircraft cabins  

• Turner Automotive: a kit for transforming a fossil fuel-powered car to hydrogen-powered

"This year's slate of finalists represents a cross-section of innovation at Portland State," said Juan Barraza, director of student innovation at the Center for Entrepreneurship at Portland State and lead organizer of the Cleantech Challenge, in a news release announcing the seven contenders "Each of these teams has a solution that can make a positive impact on our world and I can't wait to see the prototypes of their inventions at TechFest NW in April," he said.

After that event, the top two teams will advance to the statewide InventOR competition.

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