Participating Teams

2017 SEC Student Pitch Competition

University of Alabama
Members: Zoe Guckien (Undergraduate Student, Chemistry), Sudarsan Murali (Undergraduate Student, Psychology), Alec Hopkirk (Undergraduate Student, Chemical Engineering)
OrthoScrews incorporates an RFID-based technology developed by NASA into a minimalist-designed device. The device allows clinicians to non-invasively monitor, in real time, the torque of surgically-placed titanium or stainless steel screws for orthopedic implants such as artificial joints, plates, and other bone-supportive applications.  This monitoring allows the clinician to determine if screws are loosening – a common problem in orthopedic devices – that might lead to tissue damage.
University of Arkansas
Grox industries
Members: Andrew Miles (MBA), Witness Martin (Ph.D. Student, Microelectronics Photonics)
Grox Industries utilizes a proprietary, patent-pending technology to safely synthesize scalable quantities of graphene oxide and stably bond it to a variety of elemental metals to create a host of new materials with amplified physical and mechanical properties. Our initial product offering, Helios, is an advanced thermally insulating surface coating. With Helios, we are introducing a new-age glass coating with the potential to save end consumers up to 70% of the energy lost through poorly insulated windows.
Auburn University
BioErgo Solutions
Members: Rong Huangfu (Ph.D. Student, Industrial & Systems Engineering), Mengdie Chen (MBA), Bob Granzow (Ph.D. Student, Industrial & Systems Engineering)
Businesses annually spend over $62 billion on the costs associated with injuries to workers.  These injuries are not only financially devastating, but also prevent American workers from leading fulfilling lives while they are debilitated with the lasting effects of an injury.BioErgo Solutions is an innovative software as a service (SaaS) company that has a mission to prevent injuries, while also improving productivity and reducing non-value added activities.  By developing a non-intrusive wearable sensor system to monitor employee motions, BioErgo Solutions provides real-time risk information to help workers and businesses get healthier.
University of Florida
Members: Max Gazeroglu (Undergraduate Student, Engineering), Domenic Aluise (Undergraduate Student, Engineering)
The camera accessory company,, has developed a product that every interchangeable camera lens on the market is compatible with, regardless of year, diameter, brand, or model. The product,, is a soft elastic band that stretches over any interchangeable camera lens’ zoom and focus rings, enhancing grip and preventing damage. The product has exceptionally high margins, is customized to each customer’s lens, is patent pending, and is produced entirely in-house through its low-cost, lean manufacturing operation. has already generated revenues in the tens of thousands of dollars through its Kickstarter and online sales.
University of Georgia
Ripple Jam Booking
Members: Jacqueline (Undergraduate Student, Journalism), Lallie Maddox (Undergraduate Student, Advertising)
Ripple Jam Booking is a platform for connecting artists and venues to simplify the event booking process.  Ripple Jam launched its proof of concept in February 2017, growing out of a class project, and has built a roster of over 30 bands. It is transitioning into revenue generation mode, building its platform and relocating to Nashville with an anticipated commercial launch in early 2018. Its low-cost approach will create a ripple effect in the music industry, disrupting the expensive booking agent model and allowing artists an opportunity to perform for a larger share of the box office.
University of Kentucky
The Sustainable Products Company
Members: Chandni Joshi (Ph.D. Student, Chemical Engineering at UK), Landon Mott (Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering at UK)
The existing $3 billion insecticide market doesn’t meet the need for all-natural, non-synthetic pesticides. As interest in clean food grows, there is an increasing demand for sustainably sourced agricultural products, especially with limited farmland availability. Many farmers, including organic, currently rely on synthetic or copper based pesticides which increase yield but can lead to groundwater contamination and other negative effects. Consequently, safe agricultural products are needed. The Sustainable Products Company meets this demand by producing all-natural WiseEarth™ Pest Repellent and WiseEarth™ Soil Additive. Our company will initially target the US insecticide market, with significant growth potential in global markets.
Louisiana State University
Tonal Innovation
Members: Daniel Wendt (Graduate Student, Finance), Cliff Croomes (Ph.D. Student, Music)
Tonal Innovation is a musical instrument accessory and software development company.  Despite the advent of smart technology, band programs’ rehearsal techniques have been relatively unchanged since the advent of the copy machine.  Tonal Innovation is committed to developing ways for bands around the country to utilize smart technology to increase efficiency while also reducing costs.  eFlip and UNISON are Tonal Innovation’s first foray into a market that is ripe for change to fulfill the company’s motto of Bridging the Gap Between Music and Technology.
University of Mississippi
Myra Mirrors
Members: Pontus Andersson (MBA)
We are designing a line of smart mirrors. These will feature stereo sound light panels, 5 methods of input, and premiere our own mobile companion app and operating system named ReflektOS. As both a hardware and a software company, Myra is a company which focuses on making AR easy to use for all consumers. The operating system we are creating is an open-source GNU/Linux based AR operating system for surfaces – the Android for the real world.
Mississippi State University
Members: Conor Ferguson (Undergraduate Student, Electrical Engineering), Austin Ratcliffe (Undergraduate Student, Electrical Engineering)
Auto-IS builds advanced automation tools for wireless internet service providers (WISP), eliminating the cost-intensive process of optimizing antenna placement. Unlike cellular networks, WISP relies on directional antennas over long distances highly sensitive to antenna placement. Currently multiple technicians have to climb into a bucket truck, juggle a laptop and large antenna arrays to guess at the best placement. With the Auto-IS WISPR system, operators instead press a button and the WISPR drone automatically scans the property to find the best placement, making it more affordable to connect the 3.7B people around the globe still without internet.
University of Missouri
Members: John Gillis (Undergraduate Student, Computer Engineering), Sintia Radu (Graduate Student, Journalism)
Recordly allows users to capture audio with their smartphone, highlight key passages in the interview with one touch of their phone or Apple Watch, and produce a real-time transcript of the audio — at a fraction of the cost of other commercial services — by using speech-to-text processing.  Quickly edit the text for posting to social media or your company’s content management system, knowing your data is securely saved to the cloud.  Recordly: stories at your fingertips.  Now in the App Store!  More information at
University of South Carolina
Members: Ryan Barkley (Undergraduate Student, Economics), James Roberts (Undergraduate Student, Political Science)
Hauled is a mobile platform that connects pickup truck owners with people in need of junk removal.  We want to provide opportunities for college students, veterans, firefighters, and other hardworking individuals in need of an additional source of income, plus provide home and business owners with an innovative format to connect with quality service at a far more affordable price point than what is currently available. Hauled will create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, while also cutting back on waste by promoting the recycling of waste and the donating of gently used property.
University of Tennessee
In With the Old, LLC
Members: Baker Donahue (Undergraduate Student, Communication Studies with a minor in Entrepreneurship), Kate Ziegler (MBA)
In With The Old, LLC is a retail service specializing in repurposing and reselling vintage collegiate apparel. The company sells its merchandise via Instagram through a social auction process – the online picture shows product, the caption provides description, and the comments are the bids. Since beginning a year ago on one campus, the company has created a strong brand and grown to eight additional campuses while developing an online platform focused on enabling multi-site sourcing and incentivizing sales growth. Significant penetration of a $200M niche market over the next 3 to 5 years will create attractive expansion and/or harvest opportunities.
Texas A&M University
Yeast Culture Labs
Members: Chloe L. Hawkings (Ph.D. Student, Entomology)
Craft microbreweries produce 7% of all beer sold in the U.S., and the number of microbreweries launching in Texas has doubled since 2012. Interestingly, while they employ over 50% of all brewery employees nationwide, over 90% of their yeast supply – the basic foundation of all beer brewing – comes from a small number of suppliers on the west coast. Most microbreweries suffer inordinately long production cycles and high logistics costs simply to maintain their yeast supplies. Yeast Culture Labs aims to establish a central-U.S. market presence and leverage their unique fermentation expertise to provide fresh and high-quality, customized brewer’s yeast at a fraction of current supplier costs.