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Flyer Pitch

Two University of Dayton seniors tied for first place in the Flyer Pitch competition first round with business ideas to improve the design of public sinks and offer drivers with electric cars easier access to solar-powered charging stations.

Entrepreneurship students Ben Pfeifer and Dallas DeBruin are among the 11 U.S.-based teams that will advance in the business plan contest. The international competition — among the largest at the collegiate level — awards $100,000 in cash prizes and $150,000 of in-kind support during six rounds in three cities.

DeBruin’s Sink 2.0 combines washing and drying to reduce environmental waste and improve sanitary conditions in public restrooms. Pfeifer’s Park-N-Plug, which also won the $2,500 sustainability/green technology idea prize, connects drivers to charging stations through a shared services app.

Other prizes from Saturday’s Shark Tank-style event included the $2,500 top social enterprise award, which went to senior Scott Stoermer for STAR, a refrigerator designed through the University’s ETHOS program to store medicine and vaccines for long durations in remote areas without reliable power grids. And the $2,500 Entrepreneur's Center tech transfer award went to senior Kaitlyn Roberts for PlenaCare, an idea that utilizes technology developed by Ascend Innovation in Dayton along with sensors to provide people more accurate health profiles.

“This was a very competitive round as students from all over campus and every academic unit pitched their ideas,” said Vincent Lewis, director of the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. “We expect more than 200 teams to participate in Dayton, China and Vietnam this year. We look forward to supporting these budding businesses and building on the competition’s track record of success.”

The first round continues Saturday in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Sunday in Suzhou, China. The second round will be held Nov. 18 in Dayton for U.S.-based teams and Jan. 8 in China for teams from Asia. The final round is set for March 24 in Dayton. The grand prize winner will receive $25,000 cash and $25,000 in support from Dayton’s Entrepreneur's Center.

The competition, now in its 11th year, has helped launch 30 new ventures, which have raised more than $15 million in capital. More information on Flyer Pitch is available online.


News and Communications Staff