LA Tech students compete in TOP DOG pitch contest

On Oct. 29, 21 teams of Louisiana Tech students shared their innovative ideas in the annual TOP DOG Idea Pitch competition.

During the event, each team had five minutes to make their pitches to judges. After, the room was opened to the public to view and discuss ideas.

Some participants returned to TOP DOG from earlier competition in last month’s pitch event, Doggone Good Idea. Since then, these returning students were able to refine and further develop their ideas, now with a formal brand name and in some cases, a working prototype. Returning teams included Chris King’s Hermes Hydration, Henry Cottom’s Automatic Magazine Loader, and previous winner Robert Strange’s Strange Light.

In addition to returning ideas, there were several new additions as well. One team of students, named S.P.A.T. (Superior Pressure Applying Tourniquet) produced designs for a more user-friendly tourniquet for emergency situations.

“We’re trying to cut down on the time it takes, the skill that it takes, and the amount of knowledge that it takes to make tourniquets readily available in catastrophic events,” team member Cameron Surratt said.

Teams of students explain their innovative ideas to the public at the TOP DOG pitch contest. (Courtesy photo)

Another new idea came from Christopher Crawford named School Me, where he used his supply chain management skills to come up with a system that buys school supplies in bulk to save money for students who may need extra help.

“Some students don’t have the supplies that others do,” Crawford said. “My mission is to provide savings for schools and parents so that future students can have the resources and opportunities to succeed.”

Other pitches ranged from a clothing brand called MOST SLEPT ON Clothing to a smart, automated curtain rod called RODnee. One team even provided samples of a healthy alternative to sugary drinks derived from African teas, which they called Tales of African Flavors. In addition to the samples they provided, the team also included a digital chart indicating all of the health benefits of the drinks as well as information behind their origin.

AutomaAbility, another one of the projects presented, is a virtually intelligent device that allows children with disabilities to control and operate a toy car with only the use of their eyes. For example, if the person using the device were to look left or right, the car would respond and move in that direction.

“Essentially, it’s marketed for children with paralysis but it’s just a cool thing and it can also be marketed to any child or parent,” McKenna Barker said of her team’s product.

The team with the highest number of student audience votes was Cooling Unplugged, a device designed to keep leafy greens fresh. Coming in second was team S.P.A.T.

The next step for the TOP DOG Idea Pitch teams is the TOP DOG New Venture Championship in the spring.