Georgia Southern University

BIG Pitch finalists compete for $10,000 prize on Oct. 11

Ocean Exchange and Georgia Southern University’s Business Innovation Group (BIG) announce the eight finalists who will go after the $10,000 cash prize in the BIG Pitch collegiate competition on Sunday, Oct. 11.

The BIG Pitch competition drew a total of 28 collegiate team applicants from around the country, Canada and India. A committee of industry experts reviewed each team’s summary information and two-minute pitch video before selecting eight finalists to compete for the monetary prize. The finalists, whose presentations will be available through an online live stream, will receive exposure to some of the top innovation leaders in the world.

“We received some excellent applications from students all over the world,” said Dominique Halaby, D.P.A., director of BIG. “I am very excited about the eight teams, which represent some really innovative solutions, selected to compete in our inaugural BIG Pitch competition.”

The eight finalists will present in front of 150 delegates from business, NGOs, academia and government. The delegates will vote on the recipient of the $10,000 cash award. On-stage competition panelists are Kelly Carnes, president and CEO of TechVision21; Jeff Johnson, founding partner of Green & Blue Advisors; Allen Wolf, managing director of OFSCap, LLC; and Scott Ross, managing director of Schmidt Marine Technology Partners. The presentations will take place at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center between 5:30 and 8 p.m.

The inaugural class of collegiate innovators to present their solutions at the BIG Pitch are:

  • “Opus 12” from Stanford University, Renewable Fuel Production from Carbon Dioxide
  • “Resource Recovery from Waste Water” from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, A Sustainable Water Treatment/Recovery Process
  • “Green Technology Artificial Reefs” from Valdosta State University, Artificial Reefs from Cement and Nutrient Mixtures
  • “Surya Conversions” from University of Colorado-Boulder, Hybrid Electric Conversion Kits for Auto Rickshaws in Developing Countries
  • “Prosumer Grid” from Georgia Institute of Technology, Simulate & Optimize the Operation of Distributed Energy Resources/Grid
  • “NTi Technology” from Cornell University, Functional Coating for Self-Distribution
  • “Cooking with Stored Solar Heat” from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Maintain Traditional Cooking Methods in the Developing World without Use of Fuel, Flame & Emissions
  • “Loop” from Savannah College of Art and Design, Biometric System to Upcycle Waste from Meat, Fish, and Bone

BIG Pitch facilitates the adoption of undergraduate and graduate innovations that improve economies, health and the environment. BIG Pitch is part of the Business Innovation Group of the Center for Entrepreneurship Learning and Leadership at the Georgia Southern College of Business Administration and partners with Ocean Exchange, an international non-profit dedicated to advancing the adoption of transformative solutions that support sustainability.

For more information on the BIG Pitch competition and Ocean Exchange, contact Millicent Pitts, CEO of Ocean Exchange, at 912-257-0209 or For more information on the BIG Pitch competition and Georgia Southern University’s entrepreneurship programs, please contact Dominique Halaby, D.P.A., at 912-478-2733 or

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit

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