Each of the Cherokee-McDonough Challenge ventures below received an initial investment of $20,000. Congrats to all of our entrepreneurs!
bioMASON, based in Research Triangle Park, uses microorganisms to grow bio-cement based construction materials. The company’s proprietary manufacturing processes and materials allow it to deliver construction materials with very low embodied energy, which can be produced on-site from locally available aggregate. The strength and durability properties of bioMASON’s products are comparable to traditional masonry products.
Platinix, based in Raleigh and incubated out of North Carolina State University, has developed an efficient and viable alternative to platinum as a catalyst for use in hydrogen production. Platinix’s catalyst can be produced at a fraction of the cost of platinum and could enable hydrogen to become a cost-effective fuel source. A hydrogen-based energy economy means affordable, abundant clean energy.
HomeWellness, based in Raleigh, helps corporations offset carbon emissions by providing their employees a web-based platform that enables users to assess their home’s energy efficiency, decide upon energy-efficient upgrades, select and manage contractors and take advantage of financing, tax credits and other incentives.
Base Trace (previously SafeTNA) provides DNA-based tracers for hydraulic fracturing, a controversial natural gas extraction technique. By giving each well a unique DNA fingerprint, Base Trace can determine the precise source of groundwater contamination, cutting through liability issues for industry and providing local communities ease of mind. Operating at the interface between communities and industry, Base Trace builds the tools for trust. Base Trace’s lab is located in Research Triangle Park, NC.
LYF Shoes is a company dedicated to making custom fit, locally assembled footwear that is manufactured without the use of glue or toxic adhesives and is capable of collecting foot action and mobility data. The founders envision job creation, customer service and sustainability as outcomes of these advances in the manufacture of footwear. LYF Shoes invites consumers to “Love Your Footprint.” LYF Shoes is headquartered in Raleigh, NC.
Sanitation Creations is developing the Dungaroo: an odorless, waterless and hygienic portable toilet. In addition to providing portable toilet solutions for events, construction sites and in the transportation and camping industries, Sanitation Creations hopes to address sanitation challenges in the developing world. Importantly, waste collected from Sanitation Creations’ toilets could be used in a biodigester to produce energy. Sanitation Creations is headquartered in Raleigh, NC.
JouleBug is a playful mobile app that encourages users to improve their sustainability habits at home, work and play. By competing with Facebook and Twitter friends to earn badges and pins, users can lower energy bills, reduce waste and enhance their environmental footprint. JouleBug connects to a user’s online utility account to create an informative graphic that encourages competition and conservation. It is estimated users will save an average of $200 a year. JouleBug is headquartered in Raleigh, NC.
Team Members: Justin Desrosier, Colby Almond, Brandon Young and Tyler Greathouse
Team MAP built redevelopbrownfields.com, a website focused on promoting brownfield redevelopment. The site connects people and firms interested in brownfield redevelopment, provides links to relevant resources and provides a map of North Carolina brownfield sites.
Team MAP was well organized, focused and provided interesting insights into potential revenue models for such a website, as well as search engine optimization techniques, the importance of a social media strategy and the leverage Twitter provides.
Team Members: Andrew Guo, Haoyang Ren, Kevin Shaw Chien, Peter Yan Zhu and Wisum Kim
Team Solnos developed EcoSocial, ‘a web-based tool that steers users through the process of going green, from product selection all the way through purchase.’ The proposed website would analyze the cost effectiveness of various residential water and electric conservation devices and practices. In addition, EcoSocial plans to develop a social app that allows users to display their water and electric consumption rates on their Facebook and Google+ profiles. Users can compete with friends to lower their water and electric bills by utilizing the analysis and product suggestions provided through the website.
Team Solnos finished short of developing a functioning prototype, but the idea has potential and is in a fast growing market.