Business ideas proposed by a team of undergrads from Morehead State University and a team of graduate students from the University of Louisville took top honors Saturday at the Alltech Innovation Competition.
Agriculture and business students from Morehead worked together on a company called Pollination Solutions that would seek to counter the effects of the decline in the bee population with a man-made solution. Their product is a drone attachment, The Pollinizer, that could be used to pollinate orchards.
Graduate students from U of L won for a company called KYchen, which would provide services to restaurants that use cooking oil to fry food. Among the company’s offerings is a patented oil filtration and transport device called Whirl. An Alltech news release said the company would reduce consumption of fresh oil, increase consistency in food preparation and raise productivity.
“We recently contracted with a fabricator in Louisville, so we are waiting for our prototype, and we already have test kitchens lined up,” Tedd Pollard, one of the students on the team, said in a news release. “In the next few months, we should be able to start offering some of our services.”
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The winning teams received $10,000 each.
Seven universities participated in the competition, which was held at Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s Newtown Pike campus and is in its fourth year. A sister competition will take place Tuesday in Ireland.
Competitors aim to boost local economies by developing business plans in the areas of animal nutrition, crop science, food and brewing and distilling. Alltech said most of this year’s entries catered to the local market.
“The AIC is more than a competition; it is a form of experiential learning and a platform for career opportunities,” Suniti Mujumdar, manager of educational initiatives at Alltech, said in the news release. “We are honored to be involved with fostering entrepreneurship and showcasing the brilliance of students in Kentucky.”