On Oct. 27, Berkeley Lab inventors eloquently pitched their inventions in a “pitch” competition as part of an entrepreneurship training program co-hosted by the Intellectual Property Office and Haas Business School. The competition, funded by the Department of Energy (DOE), was designed to provide scientist-entrepreneurs at the Lab with experience in pitching to key stakeholders such as potential investors and partners.
The judging panel included eight judges from a variety of backgrounds, including entrepreneurs and representatives from the venture capital community. The co-organizers were IPO’s Jeremy Greeter and Lucian Sweitzer.
The contestants gave ten-minute presentations on their elevator pitch, their market position, the customer and competitive landscape, and financial considerations, followed by a five minute Q&A with the judging panel.
The first place winner was Biosciences Area (BSA)’s Deepika Aswathi, who pitched her idea for “Z6 Technologies: Upcycling Methane to Green Biochemicals.” Tied for second place were Energy Technologies Area (ETA)’s Farshid Roumi, who presented “Fire Free Battery Screening Technology” and Earth and Environmental Sciences Area (EESA)’s Chun Chang, who presented “Hunting the Greener and Cheaper Energy You Need.” In third place was a two-person team from the Energy Technologies Area (ETA), Kenneth Higa and Daniel Collins-Wildman, who presented “Better Batteries for Buildings.”
The winners will receive funding to support time spent for market and customer research. Deepika will compete against winners of other DOE national labs at the national DOE pitch competition that will be held in Palo Alto on Nov. 16.