GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The University of Arkansas won first place in the 2017 SEC Student Pitch Competition held at the University of Florida on Monday. The winning team was comprised of Andrew Miles and Witness Martin.
A team of students representing participating SEC universities presented their innovative product ideas to a panel of judges on Monday afternoon. The panel selected three finalist teams that later presented to a separate set of judges in the Evans Champions Club at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The University of Florida finished second and Auburn University took third place.
"It feels great to come all the way from Arkansas and win first place," said Miles. "Just being around an eclectic group of entrepreneurs and innovators is exciting."
Miles and Martin pitched Grox Industries, a company that 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.
Aside from participating students, leaders from SEC entrepreneurship or innovation centers were on hand to support the student teams and to exchange best practices.
"Andrew and Witness have worked extremely hard on this product for well over a year," said Dr. Carol Reeves, Associate Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship at Arkansas and team advisor. "The fact that they are commercializing research invented at the university is a big deal."
The 2018 SEC Student Pitch Competition will take place next fall at Texas A&M University.
The SEC Student Pitch Competition is supported by the SEC under its SECU banner. SECU, the academic initiative of the SEC, serves as the primary mechanism through which the collaborative academic endeavors and achievements of SEC universities are supported and advanced.