April 29, 2014

Business competition sheds GreenLight on East Lansing

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By Jalen A. Dann
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

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The GreenLight Business Model Competition held its second annual showcase of innovative business ideas and technological advancement models in East Lansing.

Spartan Innovations welcomed aspiring entrepreneurs, investors, and supporters to the event. The event allows any Michigan business, resident, or student with a company to compete for funding for their project. This year’s competition consisted of 25 hopefuls pitching their ideas to a panel of eight judges, vying for $50,000 in prizes.

“Some of the amazing technologies we’re seeing today are ready to be on the market,” said Spartan Innovations Director Brian Abraham, “This is a big difference in comparison to last year’s competition.”

Abraham said the key to competitions like this is sociability, because the main point is connecting with investors and consumers.

All of the businesses and companies that compete must have been in existence for a year or less.

The competitors were chosen one week before the GreenLight Business Model Competition was held. Each of the competitors was given 4 minutes to sell their idea to the judges.

“The competition here is awesome,” said Managing Member of Fluition, LLC Kathryn Christopher, “But I think our level of hard work and dedication is what sets us apart from our competitors.”

Christopher said she was slightly nervous about speaking in front of the large crowd but insisted she was confident in her pitch.

After the pitches, the competitors and guests were treated to a reception, while the judges made their decisions.

“We’ve been practicing since October,” said co-founder of Swaddle-mi-Bili Alexa Jones, “Winning would mean being able to move forward with our concept.”

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The Michigan State University engineering student and her team took home second place in the undergraduate category for Swaddle-mi-Bili a wearable treatment for infant jaundice.

The Grand Prize of $25,000 was won by NordHouse Medical for its concept to improve cardiac recovery with the Patient Tube Organizer Harness.

The GreenLight Business Model Competition was held on March 26, at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center.