‘PITTch’ perfect products: Wrist support concept awarded top prize
The ideas at the second annual PITTch Fest ranged from functional fashion and thermal-powered cellphone chargers to an innovative brace to help patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Ultimately, it was a new approach to wrist support that took the top prize in the contest’s proficient category. The judged contest for regional entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas wrapped up the 25th annual Showcase for Commerce on Friday afternoon.
Wrivo LLC’s Wristocat won $3,000 in funding to create a polished prototype to take to market.
David Luciew, a Johnstown design professional who developed the product with his wife, Michele, while he was recovering from surgery to correct carpal tunnel syndrome, focused his pitches on building a better mousetrap.
“With our life and livelihood relying on ability to use a computer, the mouse giving us the most problem is sitting right there on our desk,” he told judges in the Stars and Stripes room at the Cambria County War Memorial.
The one-size-fits all product would work with a mouse, keyboard or any other computer input that requires hands.
Judge Donna Michele Baxter, CEO and founder of Soul Pitt Media, said she liked the “sleekness” of the design she watched in Luciew’s marketing video.
“It looks like an Apple product,” she said. “It’s definitely sexy.”
In the student category, Healthponics won the top prize, $3,000, to create sustainable, indoor plant-growing systems that can be app-regulated to adjust to elements such as pH and temperature.
Target markets would include restaurant industries, people who live in condominiums or other arrangements where outdoor gardening is tricky or for medical marijuana, Troy Schall said.
“You can regulate it yourself from your phone,” he said.
With the help of area sponsors such as Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, startups took home $10,000 total in awards.
This year’s event also included $10,000 in audience favorite awards through a sponsorship from GapVax.
Judge Eric Silver, a Silicon Valley native and principal at Alt-Capital, said he enjoyed the ideas and they reflect a city that is beginning to foster entrepreneurial growth.
“There were a lot of things that seem like they would work,” he said. “For a judge trained to search for what won’t work in a potential idea, that’s saying something.”
Kecia Bal is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at @KeciaBKay.
Source: tribdem.com – written by Kecia Bal, Posted on May 29, 2015