DURHAM, N.H. – A de-icer spreading system that uses GPS technology to map sensitive watersheds and allows transportation officials to apply specific de-icers on roadways in environmentally sensitive areas won first place in the 2012 University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics Paul J. Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market competition – the oldest business plan competition in the state and one of the first in the nation – Wednesday, May 9, 2012.
“The Holloway competition is both the epitome and the progenitor of entrepreneurship at the University of New Hampshire,” UNH President Mark W. Huddleston said.
Established in 1988 by Paul J. Holloway's family, the competition is designed to stimulate entrepreneurship. It is open to all university system graduate and undergraduate students who have a proposal for bringing an innovative product or service to market. It helps students gain first-hand experience in commercializing new products and services and provides access to faculty advisors and industry experts.
Graduating MBA students Andrew Jaccoma of Dover and Olha Johnson of Manchester won first place for their Sensible Spreader System, a plan to use GPS technology to allow transportation officials to specify the best type of de-icer to use on a particular roadway. They competed against five other finalists in the championship round.
“In talking to industry specialists, we learned about the I-93 expansion project as well as the chloride-impaired waterways that surround it. We learned that NHDOT was looking for ways to reduce its chloride impact on certain sections of the roadway. Having a background in the maritime industry, I was very familiar with the capabilities of GPS, and integrating those capabilities into the winter road maintenance industry seemed like a natural progression,” Jaccoma said.
The Sensible Spreader System uses an integration of GPS mapping technology and mechanical spreader system that allows the driver of a truck spreading de-icer to focus on the road while the GPS-based spreader system applies the de-icer best suited to the particular location and environment.
The system will identify chloride-sensitive watersheds and automatically switch to an environmentally friendly de-icing alternative. Currently, the nonchloride alternative deicers are extremely expensive so the Sensible Spreader System would allow the user to apply nonchloride de-icers, such as potassium acetate, only in the necessary areas and allow the use of traditional de-icers elsewhere.
“The Holloway competition was a tremendous experience. In looking at MBA programs throughout New England, one of my prerequisites was that the program needed to offer education in entrepreneurship. Both the elective class that I took with Dr. Robert Gough as well as the Holloway competition exceeded my expectations in providing experiences and in developing valuable skills that I feel will serve me very well in the future,” Jaccoma said.
The winners receive $10,000 in cash, NH-ICC/Pierce Atwood services up to $50,000, PixelMEDIA award (100 hours of services valued at $15,000) and a year subscription to the Wall Street Journal. Holloway contestants competed for more than $85,000 in prize money and consulting services provided by Paul and Anna Grace Holloway, the Paul J. Holloway Prize Fund, the Albin Entrepreneurship Fund, the Nelson Fund for Business Innovation, PixelMEDIA, and the New Hampshire Innovation Commercialization Center.
A number of previous Holloway prize competitors have started their own companies. Those companies include Chaoticom, UNH’s first spin-out company; Joseph’s Gourmet Pasta and Sauces, which was recently sold to Nestle; Souhegan Valley Motorsports of Milford; Itaconix, the world leader in polymers made from itaconic acid and a product that was developed at UNH; and Regaalo, which placed second in the 2011 competition.
“These successes are a real tribute to Paul and Anna Grace Holloway, the university, the faculty and staff and all who have helped these young men and women pursue their entrepreneurial dreams,” Huddleston said.
The other 2012 awardees are as follows:
GearFreedom provides an online marketplace where local and regional sports equipment shops are centralized, making it easy for a user to research, reserve, and rent gear.
SOsponsored is an online customized apparel and advertising company that will allow customers to design their own clothing and add company logos. Customers will enjoy reduced costs from the addition of the logos they choose, as well as a coupon for choosing the participating company.
RUNNERS UP (In alphabetical order)
EzCao.com will connect entry-level employee-seeking firms with qualified collegiate individuals to enhance business development and career opportunities through an interactive localized network with cost-saving benefits for the businesses and free user registration for the students. EzCao.com provides an innovative way to contact local college-educated employees by providing methods of instant contact utilizing the trending features of Web 2.0.
LocalGrub.com is a hub for people looking for local sustainably grown and organic food. LocalGrub members receive monthly discounts on local food and can place orders online with the option for delivery. LocalGrub customers also receive information about happenings in the healthy lifestyle community via email and are connected with like-minded people over potlucks and expos.
Personal secrets are hard to maintain in a shared community like the Internet. Ozel provides for confidential storage of data using public resources without requiring trust. Ozel uses multiple storage providers and is designed to allow providers to fail, disclose, or destroy the data provided them without disclosing any of the user’s original data.
The University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics Paul J. Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market competition honors Holloway’s entrepreneurial spirit by stimulating and recognizing outstanding business strategies. Holloway began his career in the automotive industry and, starting in 1967, shaped a multi-franchise dealership emphasizing customer service and satisfaction. Holloway then extended his business skills to the development and management of eldercare facilities.
The UNH Whittemore School of Business and Economics offers a full complement of high-quality programs in business, economics, accounting, finance, information systems management, marketing, and hospitality management. Programs are offered at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive development levels. The school is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the premier accrediting agency for business schools worldwide. In January 2013, the business school will move into its new state-of-the-art facility and become the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
Paul Holloway (center) congratulates MBA students Andrew Jaccoma of Dover and Olha Johnson of Manchester, who won the 2012 University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics Paul J. Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market competition Wednesday, May 9, 2012.