AgroFilms Bags Grand Prize at Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge


Key Takeaways:
– AgroFilms, a team from the University of Washington, clinched the $15,000 grand prize at the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge.
– Other awardees included C-1 Bio, Minimycelium, SuperSurya, and SEAPEN for their innovative environmental solutions.
– The event is annually hosted by the University of Washington’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship with sponsors like Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, and the UW’s Clean Energy Institute.
– Students from various universities across the Pacific Northwest participated in the competition.

Hemp-Based Innovation Wins Top Prize

A biodegradable film made from hemp waste won a University of Washington (UW) team called AgroFilms the grand prize at Thursday’s Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge. Held at the Seattle Center, the event saw students from the Pacific Northwest pitching their notions for startups that could contribute to the protection of our planet.

Other Winners and Their Contributions

The competition, organized by the University of Washington’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, saw participation from 22 teams. Prizes ranged from $2,500 to $15,000, acknowledging the hard work and innovative ideas of the teen entrepreneurs. Students showcased technologies incorporating software, drones, engineering biology, and more.

C-1 Bio, another team from UW, bagged the $10,000 Second Place Prize and the $2,500 Climate Impact Prize. They are developing a method to capture carbon dioxide using specially engineered aquatic bacteria.

Meanwhile, Minimycelium was awarded the $5,000 Third Place Prize for their concept of using a particular type of mushroom to convert plastic into organic matter. SuperSurya received the $5,000 UW Clean Energy Institute Clean Energy Prize for their innovative technology to enhance the energy efficiency of solar panels.

SEAPEN, another UW team, earned the $2,500 Leo Cup Innovation in Oceanography Prize for their platform that used artificial intelligence to analyze underwater images and videos to help with marine life data collection and pollution monitoring.

Event Encouragement and Support

A judge and member of the E8 venture capital group, Eric Carlson, commended the contestants’ drive and commitment to the event and the cause. Makoto Hamamoto Eyre, who participated in the Environmental Innovation Challenge in 2020 and has since co-founded the carbon capture startup Homeostasis, also shared words of wisdom and encouragement with the participants.

Contributing Universities and Sponsors

Students from UW, Portland State University, Walla Walla University, Washington State University, Global Innovation Exchange, and Central Connecticut State University participated in the event. Alaska Airlines, Microsoft, and the UW’s Clean Energy Institute were among the main sponsors of the competition, underlining their interest and support in fostering innovation for environmental sustainability.

The Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge continues to be a platform for young entrepreneurs to propose solutions for environmental challenges. It serves as an indicator of the promising future of innovative ideas emanating from the student community in the march towards protecting our planet.

Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Browne is the CEO and Founder of Livy.AI

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