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Game On! Six Finalist Teams Compete for $10,000

Posted: April 11, 2016

Judges picked six teams to compete this week for the $7,500 top prize and $2,500 second prize in the final round of Ag Springboard
Dylan Tischler of Team Red holds a Frisbee made of recycled red plastic cups. Team Red is among six finalist teams competing this week for the $7,500 top prize in the Ag Springboard business pitch contest.

Dylan Tischler of Team Red holds a Frisbee made of recycled red plastic cups. Team Red is among six finalist teams competing this week for the $7,500 top prize in the Ag Springboard business pitch contest.

Student teams that envision comic book superheroes that promote agriculture and the STEM sciences, a cheese made with a disease-fighting compound found in sorghum and red plastic cups recycled into new plastic games are among the finalists to the win Ag Springboard and $7,500 this week. The second place prize is $2,500.

Judges selected six finalist teams from pitch videos submitted in the first round of Ag Springboard, the student business pitch contest in the agricultural sciences. Ag Springboard is a signature event of the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Program at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

The finalist teams will pitch live to a panel of judges who are innovation leaders and entrepreneurs on Thursday, April 14 during the final round of competition on Penn State's University Park campus.

Winners will be announced that evening at an awards banquet at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Watch for video profiles of the finalist teams this week on the Entrepreneurship & Innovation site and on the E&I Facebook page.

Pick your favorites and follow the competition Thursday.

Teams

The six finalist teams and their submission videos:

Team Blue & White Chips

Deanna Spaniel and Ben Nason's Team Blue & White Chips use Purple Majesty potatoes for naturally colorful chips marketed to Penn State fans. It is the first product from their company, which can use different potato varieties to achieve various colors — except green — to represent the team colors of many colleges.

Team Blue and White Chips' submission video:

Team Sorghum Cheese

Team Sorghum Cheese envisions making cheese with a disease-fighting compound found in sorghum. The team — Dinakaran Elango, Nicholas Azinge III and Alex McKay Stanish — would market the functional food starting with farmers' markets.

Team Sorghum Cheese's submission video:

Team Systemic Action

Team Systemic Action has created a cast of diverse comic book characters to combat the under-representation of women and minorities in the STEAM — agriculture and STEM — sciences and help teach science lessons to fourth to fifth-grade students.

The team members are Rachelle Copeland, Maurice Smith, Jasmine Dillon, Kayla Echols and Saundra Wheeler.

Team Systemic Action

Team Systemic Action's submission video:

Team Red

Team Red wants to turn the plastic in 10,000 red plastic cups tossed by college students in a typical weekend into new furniture, Frisbees and school supplies for college students. Team Red members Josh Rappoport, Rosemary Nicholson and Dylan Tischler want to make sustainability sexy and have found support for their concept among 10 of 10 fraternities surveyed.

Team Red's submission video:

Team Futo

Team Futo envisions a meat substitute product tastier than the tofu commonly available in the U.S. market, making it easier for vegetarians and dieters to achieve their goals and enjoy a meal. The team members: Hui Wang, Jiayi Wang, Jiaming Zhang, Shixin Zhao, Zhiyu Yin.

Team Futo's submission video:

Team Phospholutions

Hunter Swisher and Erin Knabe of Team Phospholutions plan to commercialize a buffering agent that holds phosphorus in the soil and prevents it from leaching from farm fields into waterways. The agent is a patented technology developed at Penn State.

Team Phospholutions' submission video: