Baker Business Bowl – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu Wed, 16 Dec 2020 20:48:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://today.citadel.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Citadel-Favion-new-150x150.png Baker Business Bowl – The Citadel Today https://today.citadel.edu 32 32 144096890 Past and future meet in a plastic present https://today.citadel.edu/past-and-future-meet-in-a-plastic-present/ Fri, 18 Dec 2020 11:00:00 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=20593 An interdisciplinary team from The Citadel, with the Gibbes Museum, is lifting the veil that separates the artistic from the technological.]]>

An interdisciplinary team from The Citadel, working with the Gibbes Museum of Art, is lifting the veil that separates the artistic from the technological.

The Veiled Lady — a masterful marble statue created by Pietro Rossi in 1882 — is one of the most well-known pieces of art in the Gibbes.

But the photo above is not of the Veiled Lady. Not the original one, at least.

Thanks to three departments on campus, and a 3D-printer company created by a former cadet called Evolve 3D, the priceless statue can now be recreated, anywhere, for less than a dollar.

Not only that, but the 3D-printed version of the statue can be touched, something that’s attractive to the museum’s everyday visitor and especially important for visually impaired guests.

“When I first saw the iconic Veiled Lady sculpture at the Gibbes Museum, I, like many, was drawn to the stunning textures of this intricately-carved marble,” said Tiffany Silverman, director of The Citadel Fine Arts program. “At the time, as a museum educator, I wished that everyone could have access to experience this artwork in a more tactile, immediate way. Fifteen years later, the perfect combination of talented colleagues and innovative technology has, at last, made this dream possible.” 

The Citadel Fine Arts Department, the Baker School of Business Innovation Lab, The Citadel Makerspace and Evolve 3D worked together to make the project possible — and to help make art more accessible outside of a museum.

Evolve 3D has its own interdisciplinary connections to The Citadel. The business (then called the Cambrian Project) was initially created as part of the annual Baker Business Bowl, a program aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs turn their ideas into income.

Though the team didn’t win the first or second place cash prizes, Ben Scott — the founder and CEO of Evolve 3D — says they earned something more valuable.

On the company’s website, he wrote:

“Countless hours of work, every night in the library, then the garage, studying business, writing/rewriting the business plan, working/reworking financial predictions, not going out on weekends, straining personal relationships for months, and still lost. I didn’t sleep for days following, but ironically, I think we still won. The lesson learned from that failure is worth a lot more than $10,000.”

Evolve 3D also loaned one of their beta printers, named Eve, to the museum which will use it to produce more 3D prints of art.

“This innovative and interdisciplinary partnership with The Citadel has proven to be an exciting way to engage our community with art and new technology,” said Sara Arnold, the director of cultural affairs at the Gibbes Museum of Art. “Our visitors are amazed to see the 3D printer in action at the Gibbes. Bridging art and technology opens a whole new world of creativity and accessibility and we are so grateful to Tiffany Silverman and The Citadel cadets who have shared their time and expertise with us.”

As part of the collaboration, James Bezjian, Ph.D, shared his groundbreaking use of a high-resolution 3D scanner that he uses to document artifacts. Dan Hawkins brought the technology of The Citadel’s Makerspace, including 3D printers. Scott — one of Bezjian’s students — started Evolve 3D along with Fine Arts minor — and one of Silverman’s students — Ethan Warner. The Gibbes Museum, current partner of The Citadel’s Fine Arts program, was looking for ways to increase access to their collection for both virtual and in-person audiences.

To that end, and thanks to the entire team involved, a 3D print of the Veiled Lady is also currently on display, waiting to greet visitors at the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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Bowling for business bucks: cadets and students prepare to compete for $10,000 https://today.citadel.edu/bowling-for-business-bucks-cadets-and-students-prepare-to-compete-for-10000/ Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:00:04 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=20487 Five teams will spend their winter furlough working on a business idea that could turn into their future career -- and also a hefty check.]]>

Photo: Shawn Swartwood, director of the Baker Business Bowl, introducing the teams on Zoom before the semifinals

The final round of the Business Baker Bowl VII will be held in April

Five groups of Citadel cadets and students will spend their winter furlough and the beginning of the spring semester working on a business idea that could turn into their future career — and also a hefty check.

In early November, 9 teams — from multiple and various majors — squared off to earn a spot in the final round of the Baker Business Bowl VII. The competition was broadcast on Zoom to allow for social distancing.

In the end, the judges chose five teams to compete in the finals.

The final business ideas include: designing and building an off-road BAJA vehicle, a 3D printing filament recycler that can also convert used bottles into filament, a one-handed Xbox controller, a solar-powered dehumidifier, and an app that allows you to schedule hair stylists to visit you at home (much like Uber Eats).

The first place prize is $10,000, meant to help them start their business; the second-place team will receive $5,000. The prize money is made possible by The Citadel Class of 1989.

Each team was given five minutes to present their business ideas to a panel of business experts. After the teams pitched their ideas, the judges were given ten minutes to ask questions.

The teams that will compete in the final round of the Baker Business Bowl are:

BAJA SAE

A single-seat, all-terrain sporting vehicle — designed and constructed by the team — which is capable of being produced on a mass scale.

Team members include:

  • Zachary Adkins
  • Stephen Channell
  • Dusty Jones
  • Jeff Kidner
  • Marshall McKee
  • Tyler Nathan
  • Joseph Pham
  • Mike Sanada
  • Giselle Shapiro
  • Kenneth Spurlock
  • John Stork
  • Sara Surrett
  • Clifford Swindel
  • Phil Wellons
  • Maxwell Whalen

Extrusionaire

A device that melts down 3D printed parts and scrap, and then reforms it back into filament to be reused by a 3D printer; also allows used water bottles to be melted down into filament.

Team members include:

  • Luis Garcia
  • Mateo Gomez
  • Craig Niswender
  • Benjamin Perry
  • Tiernan Van Dyke

Helping Hands Gaming

A one-handed Xbox gaming controller, with designs for both left- and right-handed users, that retains full functional capabilities like buttons and joysticks; the controller will include a wrist strap and the option to use with foot pedals.

Team members include:

  • Jordan Cavender
  • Daniel Esteban
  • Jason Flowers
  • Fuller Prickett

Solar Suck

An effective dehumidifier that exclusively uses solar power to lower utility prices and promote clean energy; it can also be used in survival situations, such as in a lifeboat, in order to collect water from the air to drink.

Team members include:

  • Cade Bennett
  • Andrew Brabazon
  • Charles Marsh
  • Joshua Valencia
  • Jack Zappendorf

Zip Clips

An app for smart phones that takes the popular model of third party delivery and applies it to the hair industry; users can order or schedule a haircut, much like they can order food or rides through Uber or Lyft.

Team members include:

  • Thomas MacDonald
  • Thomas Kyte

The Baker Business Bowl is a program aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs who have an idea for a new product or service, and the desire to turn that idea into a business. The competition is open to cadets, evening undergraduate students and graduate students.

The date of the final round, sometime in April 2021, has not yet been determined; when available, the schedule can be found here.

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Citadel cadets, students compete in elevator pitch contest https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-cadets-students-compete-in-elevator-pitch-contest/ Thu, 05 Nov 2020 21:38:46 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=20065 Eight teams of Citadel cadets and students are preparing to compete in the elevator pitch round of the Baker Business Bowl on Nov. 11.]]>

Photo: The final winner of the Baker Business Bowl VI in 2019-2020 presents their Wall Dynamic Inspection System presents during the elevator pitch round during the event last year. The final round was held virtually.

As seen in the Charleston Regional Business Journal, by Teri Griffis

Do you have an award-winning elevator pitch?

Eight teams of Citadel cadets and students are honing theirs as they prepare to compete in the elevator pitch round of the Baker Business Bowl on Nov. 11.

The Citadel’s interdisciplinary competition challenges promising entrepreneurs who have an idea for a new product or service to showcase how they would turn it into a business.

The top five teams from next Friday’s semi-final round will earn a place in the competition’s finals, held in April 2021.

Overall first place winners will be awarded a $10,000 investment for their proposed business, with $5,000 going to second place. Cash prizes are donated by the Baker Business Bowl Class of 1989.

There are three rounds total and in the upcoming semi-final round, teams present a three-to-five-minute summary in which they explain their business idea to a panel of business experts. They will be judged primarily on their oral presentation skills. Judges will then hold a 10-minute question and answer session for each team.

Now in its seventh year, the Baker Business Bowl is open to cadets, evening undergraduate students and graduate students.

The competition is open to the public and can be watched on Zoom.

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Former Citadel students look to make 3D printing accessible https://today.citadel.edu/former-citadel-students-look-to-make-3d-printing-accessible/ Fri, 26 Jun 2020 10:00:14 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=17024 Ethan Warner and Benjamin Scott founded Evolve 3D to streamline 3D printing and make an otherwise expensive printer more affordable and accessible.]]>

Photo: Ethan Warner and Benjamin Scott, who founded Evolve 3D, were biology majors at The Citadel who participated in the Baker Business Bowl VI

As seen in The Index-Journal and Stars & Stripes, by Jonathan Limehouse

Ethan Warner and Benjamin Scott founded Evolve 3D to streamline 3D printing and make an otherwise expensive printer more affordable and accessible.

“A lot of people right now don’t think of the 3D printer as something they can have in their home,” Warner said. “They see it as something very complicated, but we can simplify the process and bring it into the home.”

Warner, 22, and Scott, 21, were biology majors at The Citadel, and they bonded over the amount of fun they weren’t having in one of their biology classes together. Warner did not anticipate even working with 3D printers, while Scott’s uncle’s interest in 3D printing influenced him to research more about it.

“The ability to make anything with a 3D printer really amazed me,” he said.

It took Scott a while to buy a 3D printer because one can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $100,000, but he managed to get one for his 21st birthday. After a while, he decided to tinker and ultimately upgrade it because he wanted to print using different types of filaments, which are slender threadlike materials that 3D printers use to create three-dimensional objects. Filaments have separate properties that vary in abrasiveness, so 3D printers use different nozzles to print various types of filaments.

“I wanted a system where I could switch out between nozzles,” he said. “I also wanted a system where if wanted to put a laser on the 3D printer then I could, so I could do laser engraving too.”

Scott’s idea began with him duct taping a laser to the extruder head on the printer, and it would move in an XYZ direction. Since he lived with college friends last summer who smoked JUULs, he decided to laser engrave their pods for them.

“They thought it was awesome until the duct tape holding the laser failed and it started shooting around the room,” he said.

The duct tape failing might have been for the best because it led to him trying to create a system, which turned out to be a 3D printer adapter that allows him to switch between nozzles and laser engraving. The universal adapter is currently patent-pending, and it will let the 3D printer print in virtually any type of material, and they can also adjust the resolution of the print by adjusting the diameter of the extruding nozzle. When Scott returned to college after the summer, a friend of his suggested he start a company, and that’s how Evolve 3D began.

From there, Warner joined Scott and the two entered the Baker Business Bowl at The Citadel and were the youngest people ever to be accepted into the Harbor Accelerator program in Charleston. Scott credits their time in the accelerator program — they finished in third place — with teaching them the ins and outs of business and how to develop a concept and make it into something real.

“The product has kind of just evolved more and more until we are where we are today,” he said.

Their concept is now real and working, and the team’s end goal is to bring the 3D printing manufacturing process into the home. Scott said the U.S. sees a lot of reliance in China to import 3D printing parts, and it’s not necessarily because they are good parts, but it’s because they are cheap.

“I believe if you’re able to make these parts yourself then that would lessen the reliance on China,” he said. “Right now, you can print soft plastics, but the issue is getting it to the level where you’re printing abrasive plastics.”

“Right now if you wanted to print in every single type of filament then that’s going to be like 10 different printers. Instead, it would make a lot more sense if you could have one machine that can print in any material and allows you to make anything from your desktop from your house. That’s the vision.”

To make their vision a reality, Scott moved in with Warner’s family in Greenwood so they could work on their company together. Scott said it’s been cool living with Warners, and he even thinks they treat him like he’s their favorite child. Warner’s father got the two a workspace at Emerald Ink and Stitches after he spoke with the owner, Steven Riley. They initially were going to move into a little house and “rough it,” but Riley offered his old office space in the back of the shop to them.

To expand on their vision, the two hope to start a YouTube channel that will consist of tutorials and cool experiments that they believe will inspire others to get into 3D printing.

“We’re passionate about 3D printing and we want to share that passion with everyone else,” Scott said. “Hopefully we will capture the imagination of the next, or current generations, and encourage them to get into the awesome world of 3D printing.”

A select group of people that the two hope to interest are soon to be Citadel graduates because they want to do all their manufacturing in house. Scott said the beauty of being a 3D printing company is that they can print the majority of their 3D printers. All these components are designed and printed in house by them. They manufacture their own parts, assemble their own machines and test their own machines.

“Bringing that manufacturing system would probably bring a lot of jobs as we grow, so it will help Greenwood’s economy in the long run,” Warner said.

Even though they will be able to manufacture their own printers, Scott said they will need builders, customer support operators, inventors and engineers to function as a full-fledged company.

The two put in for the patent for the universal adapter two months ago, but in the meantime, they will continue to work on their printers with the anticipation of a soft launch on Sept. 1. The printer will cost about $2,750, and they hope to sell them on their website and through word of mouth.

“The hope is that we’re going to have such an awesome 3D printer that people are going to be recommending it to other people,” Scott said.

The two were also involved with MUSC and The Citadel when they printed 3D masks for health care professionals. Scott thought the whole experience highlighted a need for easily accessible 3D printing, noting that it could be lifesaving. With Evolve 3D’s printer, he said someone could make a 3D mask with the correct materials and have the best possible mask at their fingertips.

“It could potentially save your life, your kid’s life and your family’s life,” he said.

Warner thinks it is ironic how they got into 3D printing, but he said it’s a passion that they can both get behind.

“Ben and I feel the same way about this,” he said. “It doesn’t feel like work because we’re coming in, just enjoying ourselves and being productive by working on our machines. It doesn’t feel like a job, it feels more like a hobby that we’re building into an empire.”

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Engineering cadets win $10,000 for ‘wall-climbing’ robot https://today.citadel.edu/engineering-cadets-win-10000-for/ https://today.citadel.edu/engineering-cadets-win-10000-for/#comments Sat, 25 Apr 2020 22:57:21 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=15899 Take a drone, a remote-controlled car, five senior mechanical engineering cadets — put them together — and what do you get?A $10-thousand-winning idea.]]>

Take a drone, a remote-controlled car, five senior mechanical engineering cadets — put them together — and what do you get?

A $10-thousand-winning idea.

Team “Wall Dynamic Inspection System” is the winner of the Baker Business Bowl VI (BBB). The team is working to construct a robot that allows bridge inspectors to do their jobs easier and without affecting traffic.

Prototype of Wall Dynamic Inspection System

“We wanted to solve a common problem we observed. We were frustrated with heavy traffic caused by bridge inspections, so we wanted to find a way to solve that problem,” said Cadet Rafael Gonzalez, one of the team’s presenters. “What we found was that the problem was worse than we imagined; there is a huge number of structurally deficient bridges across America that need inspection.”

That’s where Wall Dynamic Inspection System comes in. The robot drives up and down bridges, using drone-like fans to push itself against walls and defy gravity.

“We hope that by reducing the high cost, time, and skill level associated with bridge inspections, we can streamline the inspection process, improve public safety, and do something about inconvenient bridge traffic,” Gonzalez continued.

The team is currently working on the first prototype for the Wall Dynamic Inspection System.

“The team will pursue our second prototype to improve upon this original design,” said Cadet Jonathan Urbanic, project manager and presenter. “Once this is complete, the team will finalize this product and prepare to sell our Wall Dynamic Inspection System to contractors and DOT personnel so that bridge inspections and public safety may be improved.”

Cadet Jonathan Urbanic with the prototype Wall Dynamic Inspection System

This year the competition was held via Zoom, due to the campus closure.

Each of the five final teams had 30 minutes to present their business ideas, and to answer questions from the judges.

Team Wall Dynamic Inspection System includes:

  • Jonathan Urbanic
  • Zachary Crosby
  • Rafael Gonzalez
  • Trace Guy
  • Connor Munday

“We are very thankful to the Baker Bulldog Business Bowl and the judges that participated for this opportunity,” said Urbanic. “The team worked extreme hours for the last year to make this happen, and we are very proud to finish the year well.”

Team Rewind Filters came in second place, earning $5,000 for their business. The company’s goal is to create a machine that cleans and repurposes used water filters so that they can be reused.

The Baker Business Bowl is a program aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs who have an idea for a new product or service, and the desire to turn that idea into a business. It’s open to cadets, evening undergraduate students, and graduate students.

Contestants participate in teams and compete in three rounds. The final five teams are given the opportunity to attend a series of educational workshops on how to develop their full business plan.

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Traffic-controlling robots, filter recycling, multifunctional 3D printers and more: watch these Citadel business innovators compete to win $10k https://today.citadel.edu/traffic-controlling-robots-filter-recycling-multifunctional-3d-printers-and-more-watch-these-citadel-business-innovators-compete-to-win-10k/ https://today.citadel.edu/traffic-controlling-robots-filter-recycling-multifunctional-3d-printers-and-more-watch-these-citadel-business-innovators-compete-to-win-10k/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2020 21:29:57 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=15712 The final round of the Baker Business Bowl will be held publically via Zoom on Wednesday, April 22 from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.]]>

Photo: A ceremonial check presented during the second round of Baker Business Bowl VI.

With schools and companies closed, many students and employees are getting used Zoom meetings being an integral part of their daily lives.

But now, some cadets and students at The Citadel will have one more reason to use Zoom: they’ll be competing for $10,000 — all through their webcams — and you can watch it live.

Five teams of entrepreneurs made it to the third and final round of the Baker Business Bowl (BBB) after working together on their projects all year.

The final round of the BBB will be held Wednesday, April 22 from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Both the competition and the awards ceremony will be held via two separate Zoom meetings, both of which will be open to the public.

The final business ideas include: traffic-controlling robots, an app to help 18-wheelers navigate restricted roads, a robot to help officials inspect bridges, a machine to recycle water filters, and a multi-functional 3D printing device.

“It’s only fitting that a competition, based around inventors coming up with new solutions, find a new and innovative way to hold the event, even with a closed campus,” said Shawn Swartwood, director of the Baker Business Bowl. “It will be exciting to see how the teams can use this new format, because it could really allow for them to explain their businesses more fully. But regardless of the format, the judges will still be treated to five great new business ideas.”

The winning team will be awarded $10,000 to help them start their business, while the second-place team will receive $5,000. The prize money is made possible by The Citadel Class of 1989.

The Baker Business Bowl is a program aimed at helping budding entrepreneurs who have an idea for a new product or service, and the desire to turn that idea into a business. The competition is open to cadets, evening undergraduate students and graduate students.

The teams compete in three rounds, and the final five teams are given the opportunity to attend a series of educational workshops on how to develop their full business plan ahead of the final competition.

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Citadel cadets’ ‘traffic solver’ concept might save lives https://today.citadel.edu/citadel-cadets-traffic-solver-concept-might-save-lives/ Tue, 07 Jan 2020 11:00:52 +0000 https://today.citadel.edu/?p=13052 Photo: A prototype of Citadel cadets’ “traffic solver” concept. As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell You see them at both ends of a traffic construction zone,]]>

Photo: A prototype of Citadel cadets’ “traffic solver” concept.

As seen in The Post and Courier, by Jeff Hartsell

You see them at both ends of a traffic construction zone, workers holding up “stop” and “slow” signs to direct traffic.

There’s got to be a better way, right?

A group of mechanical engineering students at The Citadel may have come up with that better way and are looking to push their concept into the mainstream.

The team of four cadets is one of five finalists in the military college’s Baker Business Bowl, a program similar to the popular “Shark Tank” TV show. The Business Bowl competition is designed to budding entrepreneurs who have an idea for a new product or service and the desire to turn that idea into a business.

The competition is open to cadets, evening undergraduate students and graduate students.

The finalists will be judged in April, with the winning team earning $10,000 to spend on its project, and the runner-up getting $5,000.

For the “Traffic Solver” team of cadets, that would mean a chance to scale up their potentially life-saving system. According to workzonesafety.org, there were 754 fatalities and 671 fatal crashes in work zones in the U.S. in 2018.

“The system we’ve all seen out there is not very efficient and not safe for the people out there on the work site,” said cadet Jack Pyrtiz, a senior from Raleigh, N.C. “About 90 percent of road work is done at night, and you’ve got workers out there close to traffic and turning signs.

“The idea is to remove them, get them to a safer place where they can actually work on the project and finish the project more quickly.”

The “Traffic Solver” system uses two robot signs that can interact with each other through a computer code, using pressure sensors to count the cars as they enter and exit the work zone.

“When the vehicle runs over the pressure sensors, the weight of the vehicle will be registered by the code,” said senior Huntor Ross of Hampstead, Md. “The flow in has to match the flow out in order for the signs to change direction and change the flow of traffic.

“The customer could also a program a timer in the system. If a normal traffic light is about three minutes, you could program the code for that time, depending on the traffic flow on that road. And there’s a safety feature so that if someone runs the stop sign and is going against the flow of traffic, it will register the count and turn both signs to stop while sending a signal to the customer to warn them.”

The team has built a small-scale prototype using toy cars but says it will easy to build to scale.

“The main issue with the project is the code,” Ross said. “Once you have the program down, it will be simple to build a bigger scale system.”

Cadet Zach Blackburn, a senior from Lexington, said the design could have other uses outside of work zones.

“It could also be useful in public safety, for hurricanes and other emergencies,” he said. “If there’s a power outage knocking out traffic lights, for example, you could implement this system.”

Other concepts in the Baker Business Bowl finals are an app to help 18-wheelers navigate restricted roads; a robot to help officials inspect bridges; a machine to recycle water filters; and a multi-functional 3D printing device.

The team has built a small-scale prototype using toy cars but says it will easy to build to scale.

“The main issue with the project is the code,” Ross said. “Once you have the program down, it will be simple to build a bigger scale system.”

Cadet Zach Blackburn, a senior from Lexington, said the design could have other uses outside of work zones.

“It could also be useful in public safety, for hurricanes and other emergencies,” he said. “If there’s a power outage knocking out traffic lights, for example, you could implement this system.”

Other concepts in the Baker Business Bowl finals are an app to help 18-wheelers navigate restricted roads; a robot to help officials inspect bridges; a machine to recycle water filters; and a multi-functional 3D printing device.

The finals are set for April 16.

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