Sponsors provide over $16,000 prize incentives to strengthen university-community partnerships

Since it began in 2015, Oregon Tech’s Catalyze Challenge has awarded nearly $100,000 in prize money and services, and the competition continues this year with a prize pool of $16,000. Catalyze 2023 launched in November and 11 teams are currently registered to compete.

The Catalyze Challenge fosters project development, design, and communications skills, while boosting public understanding of the talent pipeline available at Oregon Tech.

Competitors will have an opportunity to first present their concept at a SharkTech Venture Pitch Contest March 1. Teams who successfully navigate SharkTech can compete in front of a panel of judges for the final Catalyze competition April 20.

The 11 teams registered are as follows:

  • Xeriscape Designs
    • Derrick Alderman, Business Management 2024
  • Fearless Retreats
    • Tarrah Bickford, Environmental Science 2027
  • Castle’s Guides
    • Genevieve Castle, Business Management 2024
  • TapIn Mobile Application
    • Xavier De La Rosa, Business Management 2024
  • Hunt and Fly Shop
    • Dale Fenters, Business Management 2023
  • Affordable Electric Bike
    • Ethan Hartline, Renewable Energy Engineering 2025
  • Wave Systems Design
    • Luke Hongel, Mechanical Engineering 2025
    • Ezra Neese Electrical Engineering 2025
    • Josh Moore Renewable Energy 2025
  • Koffee Kanine
    • Shelby Jirsa, Business Management 2025
  • Juniper Junkie
    • Claire Lowry, Business Management 2024
  • Deep Dive Robotics
    • Lauren Sadrin, Mechanical Engineering 2023
    • Mauricio Huntoon DeRoche, Mechanical Engineering 2024
  • Actually, Confidential Attachments (ACA)
    • Clairise Tapken, Cybersecurity 2023

The 2023 event is made possible through generous sponsorship and donations from the City of Klamath Falls, Klamath County, Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA), Klamath IDEA Center for Entrepreneurship, VertueLab, Oregon Small Business Development Center, and the Wendt Family Foundation.

If you are interested in sponsoring or mentoring a team, sharing expertise with students, or serving in an advisory capacity, please contact Hallie Neupert, Professor and Department Chair of Management at Oregon Tech, at hallie.neupert@oit.edu.

For more information and competition guidelines, go to www.oit.edu/catalyze.