Winners announced for [M]SPIRE entrepreneur pitch competition
Pictured (left to right): Gopal Nadkarni and Kaushik Mishra of PolyLux; Doug Katz of Fire Spice Company; Ron Nelson of FoodBuggy; Pavel Gerchenko of RVS; Ethan Karp of MAGNET; Brian Pollack of Parihug; Brian Doud of Terves; Chimadika Okoye and David Yeu of Yeu Patch. Not Pictured: Xyla Foxlin of Parihug; Courtney Gras of DFT; Brandyn Armstrong of StudioStick. (Courtesy of Magnet)
on October 27, 2016 at 11:44 AM, updated October 27, 2016 at 11:45 AM
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (Magnet) has announced the names of nine entrepreneurs, startups, and small manufacturers who will receive more than $60,000 in cash, services, and connections through the inaugural [M]SPIRE pitch competition.
The finalists were announced Oct. 19 at the third-annual [M]POWER Manufacturing Assembly, a full-day event for manufacturers. They were selected from more than 70 applicants from throughout Northeast Ohio, including Youngstown, Elyria, and Mansfield.
The winners will receive varying types of assistance from Magnet and Magnet partners, including grant funding, product development, manufacturing assistance, market research, and specialized consulting services.
The [M]SPIRE winners were:
- PolyLux LLC – University of Akron spinoff company developing a no-stick bandage that will revolutionize the medical adhesives industry.
- Parihug – Case Western Reserve University students who aspire to manufacture electronically-connected teddy bears that allow loved ones to connect from a distance.
- FoodBuggy – Shaker Heights entrepreneur Ron Nelson has created small, self-contained mobile units (“food buggies”) for chefs and food service providers that are more flexible and cost-effective than traditional food trucks.
- Fire Spice Co. – A new business headed by Cleveland chef Doug Katz (of Fire Food & Drink) that produces high-caliber spice blends for home cooking.
- DesignFlux Technologies – Akron-based company whose product, Congnicell, eliminates the need for power inverters, improving energy efficiency and battery management.
- RVS Rubber Solutions – Aurora-based startup currently refining a technological process for recycling rubber in industrial environments, potentially eliminating the current waste of more than 100 million pounds of tires annually.
- StudioStick – Cleveland State University student Brandyn Armstrong has created a device that transforms smartphones into a high-quality, portable recording studio.
- Yeu Patch – Cleveland-based company producing a unique solution enables anyone to temporarily patch a road’s potholes in a quick, cheap, and efficient manner.
- Terves – This Euclid-based small manufacturing company is currently developing new technology that will improve the creation of products and components made from magnesium.
Launched in August, [M]SPIRE is Magnet’s first-ever online pitch competition dedicated to helping entrepreneurs in the Northeast Ohio region. Applications were assessed based on growth potential, existing business plans, and other factors.
“Entrepreneurship is an essential and irreplaceable component of Northeast Ohio manufacturing, and Magnet is thrilled to help these individuals and small companies achieve their potential by connecting them to funding and resources necessary for success in the long term,” said Magnet President and CEO Ethan Karp.
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