Posted: March 19, 2020

Follow the final round of competition by watching the finalist teams pitch judges LIVE on Facebook Live, Wednesday, April 1, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Winners will be announced on Facebook Live that afternoon. @psuaginnovation on Facebook.

The four finalist teams in the Ag Springboard business pitch contest are: Bloom, DropIn Fresh, Extrigate and Savor Smoothies. 

The Final Four will compete to win the grand prize of $7,500 and the second prize of $2,500 to fund their new business or non-profit ventures.

Watch the E&I website and social media for more details about the teams as we approach the final round of competition!

The teams will pitch judges via video conferencing on April 1 as the final round of Ag Springboard goes virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ag Springboard awards banquet will be postponed to the fall semester. Linsey Herman, head of the innovation lab at Factory LLC, who was scheduled to be our keynote speaker this spring, will be a judge for the final round. 

The Final Four

DropIn Fresh provides local farm produce to college students.

Extrigate's mission is to provide affordable wells to small-holder farmers in Kenya who have been marginalized due to unaffordable costs and inaccessibility of well drilling. Through our innovative borehole drilling technology, we aim to eradicate these barriers for communities in Kenya.

Extrigate's team members:

  • Mary Fraiji, Sophomore, Chemical Engineering
  • Katherine McAllister, Sophomore, Biomedical Engineering
  • Chris Giura, Senior, Engineering Science
  • Josh Shoemaker, Senior, Engineering Science
  • Juliet Mejias, Junior, Community, Environment, and Development with a focus on international development

Savor Smoothies is pitching a venture to produce fruit and vegetable smoothies from lower-quality produce that's often discarded as food waste.

Savor Smoothies' team members:

  • Allison Hooven, Senior Accounting Major
  • Angela Bao, Sophomore Actuarial Science Major
  • Jasmyn James, Junior Material Sciences Engineering
  • Jeff Gubicza, Senior Agriculture Business Management Major
  • Kyle Hemcher, Senior Agriculture Business Management Major

Bloom is pitching a mobile platform to improve the supply chain in developing countries. The platform would replace the need and cost of brokers and better connect small produce farmers with wholesalers. The platform allows farmers to post information about their produce and wholesalers to select and buy produce via an SMS or Android app.

Wholesalers would be able to select or buy produce on their phones through the app. “Our solution can reach millions of farmers due to the emphasis on SMS and Android compatability," said Team Bloom. “It will have measures in place to provide a form of quality assurance, and most importantly it will be a fair transaction system."

Bloom's team members:

  • Sarah Turk, Senior, Computer 
  • Chanpreet Singh, Senior, Computer Science
  • Rachael Owens, Sophomore, Computer Science
  • Nicholas Roselli, Senior, Journalism
  • Anna Abernathy, Senior, Environmental Resource Management

Dr. Mark Gagnon, Harbaugh Entrepreneur and Innovation Faculty Scholar, congratulated the finalist teams as he announced them to all students on the 22 teams who registered for Ag Springboard and submitted video pitches during the first round of competition.

“If your team did not place don't be discouraged," said Gagnon. “Often iteration is required to develop your pitch and I will be providing judges' feedback to round one teams. I commend you for taking initiative and I am here as a resource to help you and your ideas develop."

Dr. Gagnon is available for additional feedback and guidance. Email Dr. Gagnon.