Top prizes awarded for Innovation Challenge

RFIDA device to amplify sound using the natural properties of acoustic instruments and a business specializing in lures for freshwater bass fishing won the top prizes at the sixth annual Innovation Challenge hosted by Trine University’s Innovation One and Fifth Third Bank on Feb. 15.

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 $3,000 prize, went to H3 Baits, developed by Cale Hall, a senior majoring in business administration, and Chase Hall, a senior majoring in management, both from Orleans, Indiana. The pair developed a fishing tackle company specializing in jigs and artificial baits for freshwater bass fishing.

Winning second place, with a $1,000 prize, was Origin Hockey by Jordan Smith, a senior majoring in business administration from Scott, Ohio. Origin Hockey is a business concept to produce lighter, stronger hockey sticks using cellulose nanocrystals.

Earning the judges’ choice award for high potential was Joe & Grow by Jasper Bassett, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering from Auburn, Indiana. Joe & Grow is a coffee pod that can be reused as a plant starter.

First place in the technology division, with a $3,000 prize, was awarded to Back Beat by Doug McGregor, an Angola resident. The Back Beat attaches to acoustic instruments to use the instrument’s natural resonance as a speaker.

Second place, with a $1,000 prize, was awarded to Secure RFID by Pavan Karra, Ph.D., associate professor in the Wade Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Joe Thompson, technician and instructor in the Wade Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; and Dillon Embry, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering from Upland, Indiana. Secure RFID replaces lockout-tagout systems in manufacturing settings with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) card, key fob or bracelet that allows access based on user privileges.

Earning the judges’ choice award for high potential was the Thermo-Glove by Brody Cook and Evan Miller, students at Career Academy South Bend. The Thermo-Glove displays the temperature of the object the glove is touching.

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.

Photos: Top photo, from left, Jason Blume, executive director, Innovation One, Chase Hall, Cale Hall, Dillon Embry, Joe Thompson, Pavan Karra, Ph.D., Jasper Bassett, Jordan Smith, Doug McGregor, and John Milner, assistant vice president and regional manager at Fifth Third Bank. At right, from left, Joe Thompson, Pavan Karra, Ph.D., and Dillon Embry, holding the Secure RFID. (Photo by Dean Orewiler)