The winner of the 2018 Georgia Tech InVenture Prize Competition was Kolby Hanley, 3rd year MSE, for his company, UltraView.
The competition, held on the evening of March 18 in the Ferst Center Theatre, featured six finalists who had already been through two qualifying rounds of the competition. The finalists each delivered a three-minute pitch to a panel of three judges and a large audience, which was followed by three minutes of questions and answers.
Hanley said that during rehearsals, he noticed that all of the teams had shaky pitches, whether due to prototype malfunction, stumbling over words or some other snafu. But they stepped it up when it was showtime, when it really counted.
“During the finals, I think every team had what I thought was the best pitch I had seen out of them,” said Hanley. “It was a really cool experience.”
Hanley’s prize for victory in the Tech-wide competition is $20,000 and a free patent filing from the Tech Office of Technology Licensing, which is valued at $20,000.
Judging throughout the whole process was based on the categories of innovation, marketability, market size, inventor passion and probability of becoming a successful business.
The second place winner was deemed PedalCreator, an analog effects pedal for musicians. The recipient of the people’s choice award was team pHAM, which designed a coffee filter that reduces the acidity of the drink.
Hanley’s pitch during the final round focused on one product that is in UltraView’s portfolio: StarLight. StarLight is an aiming device for use in competitive archery, and utilizes built-in ultraviolet LED light to allow the archer to fire more accurate shots.
It offers several improvements over previous forms of archery sights, which inhibited the archer’s vision, were bulky or inconvenient.
UltraView can currently produce about 500 items a month with the current method of manufacturing, which utilizes 3D printing. Hanley says that when he receives his prize from the competition, he will use the money to invest in injection molding into carbon fiber composite which will allow him to increase production to about 10,000 items a month.
He is also talking with distributors who will help him to send the initial orders all over the world. Hanley has about 60 pre-orders on his website now and is expecting to send out the first batch in mid-May. Hanley thinks that the fact that UltraView is an already-established company was one of his biggest advantages in the competition.
UltraView was borne out of Hanley’s lifelong passion for archery, which started when he was exploring in the woods and started making his own bows. Now, he competes in a different kind of competition.
Hanley is headed to the annual ACC InVenture Prize competition, the final round of which will be held in the Ferst Center Theatre on Friday, April 6, at 8 p.m.