The University of Dayton’s Flyer Pitch competition has named its winners – “life-changing” businesses and new business ideas that aim to bring clean water to people around the world, improve the experience nursing mothers and to support children’s learning and emotional well-being.
On the starting track, Monday, a redesigned nursing bra created by Sarah Kallile, won the top prize with $50,000 from Flyer Pitch and Ohio’s Entrepreneurial Services Provider program. Lunnie is up to six times more absorbent than other bras on the market and was created to provide women with more comfort and style.
AIMM, a company developing a gravity-fed water filter that kills bacteria and viruses to produce clean water, also won and received $35,000 in funding. AIMM, founded by former UDRI researcher Luis Estevez, says the work is important because the World Health Organization reports that the drinking water of more than 2 billion people worldwide is contaminated with faeces.
On the social enterprise track of the Greater West Dayton Incubator, Do not let me down, a company founded by Michel’le Curington that provides interactive sessions to help K-8 students with reading and math, won the Community Choice Award and $10,000. More than 1,400 people voted in the contest.
Without emotion, a culturally relevant social-emotional learning service for students in grades 7-12 in urban schools, also won the top prize of $10,000. The program, created by Jordyn Calhoun based on her experience with students amid COVID-19, offers curriculum and services including after-school programs, professional development for educators and more.
Companies have also secured in-kind support. Throughout the competition, they worked with industry-specific mentors to develop their ideas with access to coworking memberships at The Hub Powered by PNC at the Dayton Arcade and the Greater West Dayton Incubator.
“We had an incredible group of companies this year with life-changing ideas to pitch,” said Vince Lewis, associate vice president of entrepreneurial initiatives at UD. “We want this competition to not only help businesses get started and grow, but to be a catalyst for social change with money and mentorship for non-profit organizations, social enterprises and community organizations. Greater West Dayton community initiatives. We know these entrepreneurs will add to Flyer Pitch’s long track record of success with 74 businesses launched and over $24 million in capital raised.
Flyer Pitch is one of the largest new business competitions at the college level, with over $150,000 in cash prizes and $50,000 in in-kind prizes. It is managed by the L. William Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the University of Dayton and the Greater West Dayton Incubator in partnership with PNC Bank, the Entrepreneurs’ Center and Bandila Studios.