Competition is for student innovators and entrepreneurs
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 27, 2015) – Student teams from the University of Louisville and the University of Pikeville won the top prizes at this year’s Idea State U.
Twenty-five college teams participated this past weekend in the competition that identifies and supports the next generation of Kentucky innovators and entrepreneurs. The teams presented their ideas before a panel of judges for the opportunity to win prizes.
The top UofL team developed software that replaces the standard tests used in computing to determine whether or not a user is human. Instead of the user having to type squiggly, fuzzy characters that are often difficult to read, the software asks users to answer a question. The program is designed to defend websites from hackers.
The company also uses the answers, along with other publicly available information (IP address and geolocation), to generate consumer research data. This data helps web publishers better understand their audience and prove user demographics to advertisers, winning better ad revenue while decreasing costs associated with spam.
“This could change the way security and marketing are done on websites,” said Engagely CEO Gil Roberts, a UofL graduate student. “We intend to grow this company right here in Kentucky. This funding will allow us to go back and start hiring people. The Idea State U judges also provided excellent feedback on how we can improve our model.”
Rhizofeed, an herbal extraction company from UPIKE, took home the top prize in the business model portion of the competition. The company aims to target poultry producers looking for alternatives to probiotics or antibiotics.
Using bloodroot harvested in Eastern Kentucky, Rhizofeed extracts whole rhizomes for use in poultry feed. Less expensive and more stable than probiotics, rhizome extract has anti-inflammatory properties and has been linked to improving the immune system.
Other winners were:
- Homegrown Brewing—University of Louisville: Homegrown Brewing is a microbrewery that will collaborate with the local craft beer community to create its beer. The goal is to develop beer that is “crafted by the people, for the people.”
- Red Natural—University of Kentucky: Red Natural is positioned to become a leading supplier of natural, non-GMO, red food coloring replacing Red 40, a synthetic chemical used in the food industry.
- Taboo Dance & Fitness—Western Kentucky University: TD&F introduces new ideas of fitness to the current women’s dance fitness market. The company goes beyond traditional health and fitness to create a sanctuary for building confidence and motivation among women.
- EasySync—Northern Kentucky University: EasySync is a smartphone app that increases the organizational skills of students. By simply taking a picture of a syllabus, a student can import all-important exam and assignment dates to his or her calendar.
- Eco Clean—Berea College: Eco Clean provides a coin-operated laundry service for customers, along with a fluff-and-fold service and access to the Internet, comfortable seating and entertainment.
- Tree Huggie—Owensboro Community and Technical College: Tree Huggie allows people to customize their indoor and outdoor trees with “outfit” designs. Ideas for design patters can be inspired from sports teams, holidays, special occasions and more.
- Thread Watch—Lindsey Wilson College: Thread Watch has developed an app that allows users to keep up with the latest fashion trends. It also offers price matching so shoppers can get the most of their money.