Top prizes awarded for Innovation Challenge

A popcorn business developed in a Trine University class and a device to help lacrosse players grip their sticks better won the top prizes at the fifth annual Innovation Challenge hosted by Trine University’s Innovation One and Fifth Third Bank on April 20.

The awards were presented by John Milner, assistant vice president and regional manager at Fifth Third Bank. Awards and scholarships for the challenge are funded by a $100,000 gift from Fifth Third Bank, Greater Indiana.

First place in the business division, earning a $2,500 prize, was The Corn Club, developed by Jeffrey Bowman, a Trine University senior majoring in management from Waterford, Michigan, and Lucas Hochstetler, a Trine senior majoring in marketing from Nappanee, Indiana. Developed in the Venture Planning course taught in Trine’s Ketner School of Business, The Corn Club offers a silicone microwave corn popper and a variety of flavored popcorn options. The popper and popcorn are available for sale at thecornclub.com.

Winning second place, with a $1,000 prize, was Lax Strong by Lucas Radice, a Trine University senior from West Chicago, Illinois, majoring in business administration. Lax Strong is a concept for a training center for youth and adults interested in lacrosse.

Third place, with a $500 prize, was awarded to Peyton Schrock, a student at Westview High School in Emma, Indiana. Schrock developed a concept for a mobile butchering and processing business.

First place in the technology division, with a $2,500 prize, was awarded to the A6 Donut by Andrew Walters, a Trine University senior from Troy, Michigan, majoring in design engineering technology. The device allows lacrosse players to get a better grip on their stick.

Second place, with a $1,000 prize, was awarded to a nickel-free belt buckle developed by Angel Morrow, a student at the Career Academy of South Bend. The buckle targets those who have an allergy to nickel.

In third place, earning a $500 prize, was an ergonomic tuba mouthpiece designed by Bernard Woon, a Trine University junior from Columbus, Indiana, majoring in mechanical engineering.

Shannon Tew from Kendallville, Indiana, received the top community award for her Community Health Interventions Project, an original health care delivery concept. Tew is a student in Trine’s College of Graduate and Professional Studies majoring in health care management.

Alex Sharpe, a student at Career Academy South Bend, received the top high school student award for “Music and Motion,” a technology concept to convert movements from the human body into music.

About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $141 billion in assets and operates 1,254 full-service Banking Centers, including 95 Bank Mart® locations, most open seven days a week, inside select grocery stores and 2,639 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has a 18.3% interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 30, 2015, had $297 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $26 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Fifth Third Bank was established in 1858. Member FDIC.

Photo: Innovation Challenge award winners included, from left, Shannon Tew, top community project; Lucas Hochstetler and Jeffrey Bowman, first place, business; Peyton Schrock, third place, business; Jason Blume, executive director, Innovation One; Andrew Walters, first place, technology; Lucas Radice, second place, business; John Milner, assistant vice president and regional manager, Fifth Third Bank; and Bernard Woon, third place, technology. Not pictured are Angel Morrow, second place, technology, and Alex Sharpe, best high school project.