, creator of a high-tech wristband that wirelessly syncs with various electronic devices, emerged as the winner of the Incubator at MAGNET
's first product-focused pitch contest.
EveryKey was pitted against five other hardware-creating entrepreneurs during the ProtoTech
competition held Oct. 21 at the Ariel International Center
in Cleveland. The nascent Case Western Reserve University-based company took home $12,000, funds that will be sunk into an invention that holds all of the wearer's online passwords and is designed to lock and unlock everything from doors to phones to computers.
Chris Wentz, CEO of EveryKey, was thankful for the opportunity to put his product before a panel of investors, development specialists and peers interested in supporting physical technology. Now that the contest is over, the startup will focus on its Kickstarter campaign
, set to launch Oct. 29.
"This competition meant so much to us," says Wentz, 23. "There were a lot of great companies here with some great ideas."
The ProtoTech pitch contest, co-sponsored by NASA Glenn Research Center
, concentrated on tech-driven wares and the startups aiming to bring those products to market. The competition was introduced in July by MAGNET executive director Dave Crain with the intention of highlighting manufactured creations rather than IT or service-based ventures.
ProtoTech's second-place winner was RoboNail, designer of an app-operated robotic roofing installation machine.
The other ProtoTech finalists were:
* Advanced BioSensors-Ohio, creator of a "Continuous Glucose Monitor" for diabetic patients.
* Axenic, maker of non-toxic liquid-based solutions that clean organic waste.
* FGC Plasma Solutions, creator of a fuel nozzle designed to save money and reduce emissions.
* Real Time Imaging Technologies, designer of a low-dose dental x-ray imaging system.