MTEC SmartZone Honored to Again Support the Bob Mark Model Pitch Competition

On Thursday, January 28, The Bob Mark Business Model Competition was hosted by Michigan Technological University (MTU). The competition provides a venue for students at MTU of all majors to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas before an audience and a panel of judges, with cash prizes awarded across multiple categories.

MTEC SmartZone supports the competition annually through a $1,000 award for “Breakout Innovation”. Our student Breakout winner for 2021 was Hunter Malinowski (’24 Computer Science, Psychology). Hunter’s startup innovation “Recirculate” involves recycling t-shirts and other garments that would otherwise have been discarded and creates new styles and designs for resale. It is a great example of a circular economy at work.

In this year’s event, we witnessed an amazing display of ideas coming from the bright minds of MTU students. It was also great to see the amount of Michigan Tech alumni and former Bob Mark participants in the Zoom crowd! There were 82 attendees from across the US.

There were two different competitions this year: The Idea Pitch and the Business Model Pitch.
For the Idea Pitch competition, “3D Modeling Application” took first place. For the Business Model Pitch Competition, Raint Karmakar’s “Focus” startup won the top prize, and Hunter took home third place in the overall competition.

The event is a tribute to the late Bob Mark, Professor of Practice within the College of Business. Mark started and ran the first four years of the Elevator Pitch Competition and brought the Business Plan Competition to Michigan Tech. 

All Category Winners are listed below:

Idea Pitch Competition
1st Place – 3D Modeling Application
2nd Place – Infusion Filter Pad
3rd Place – Resonance: System for Excavation Equipment
Social Impact Award – Resonance
Smart Transfer – Course Transfer Software

Business Model Pitch Competition
1st Place – Focus
2nd Place – Mercy Aid 
3rd Place – Recirculate
Honorable Mention – Clipt
Audience Favorite: MercyAid|
MTEC SmartZone Breakout Award: Recirculate