Entrepreneurs Make Their Creative Marks


posted May 01, 2017

Pitt-Johnstown's Entrepreneurs Idea Lab Shark Tank 2017 winner was Holden Jones for Gauntlet. Also, Eric Hood’s SmartCut and Dakota Price’s Code Glass were runners-up. The creative competition was in cooperation with The Picking Entrepreneurship Education Fund.

The two-day event concluded April 20, and took place in The Cook Family Idea Lab on the Pitt-Johnstown campus.

Jones, a senior in computer science, landed $1,000 from The Picking Entrepreneurship Education Fund for Gauntlet, which is for prosumers and gamers who want to win and protect their wrist. Gauntlet offers great comfort and flexibility so video gamers can play without risk of damage.

Price, a senior in marketing, earned $500 from The Picking Entrepreneurship Education Fund for Code Glass, which helps individuals stay abreast of their appointments without pulling out having to check their phone for verification. This uses adaptable projection technology that displays the time and more right onto your glasses lens discreetly.

Hood, a sophomore studying management, earned $500 from The Picking Entrepreneurship Education Fund for SmartCut, which outfits professional lawn mowers with GPS technology for autonomous mowing so that lawn care companies can provide more reliable service and save on time, employees and other resources.

Judges included:

Tuesday, April 18: Rob Rost, owner of KMS Refractories; Eber Verhovsek, owner of Eber HVAC Inc.; and Mike Kovatich, owner of MDR Global, MediaExchange.

Thursday, April 20: Mike Hruska, founder of Problem Solutions; Ethan Stewart, Financial Advisor at Centennial Financial and founder of 814Worx; Allen Higbee, founder of Laxlee Sports and Johnstown Social; Joel Bezek, partner at Opthalmic Associates; and Rex Ashbrook,  owner of Global Manufacturing Enterprises.

Others in the competition were:

  • Sesame! By Xianhua Diao
    For travelers to new cultures, the Sesame app opens the door to extraordinary personal guides who intimately know your destination to help
  • Beauty Veil by Abby Wilkinson
    Mixing workouts and make-up seems impossible until the Beauty Veil, a shower shield that ensures your carefully-crafted makeup stays dry during a shower. No need to do make-up twice with Beauty Veil.
  • Iron Mountain Jeans by Miranda Westrick
    Targeted to college students, MEW Jeans designs are durable and long-lasting as they are reinforced where it counts, so that no-one suffers the embarrassment of a ripped seam or blow-out.
  • DrinkPoint by Kay Morris
    Designed for an explorer of nightlife, DrinkPoint app helps those seeking experiences and refreshment of personal interest or according to their profile of taste. This smart app takes your preferences and recommends local watering holes only known to residents and bartenders.
  • CutCakes by Alexis Gdovic
    Offering a diverse line of cupcakes that provide healthy choices for individuals that want low calorie, diabetic safe or gluten free indulgences.
  • Band Radar by Jacob Hostetler
    Bands often need talent when members leave or have a temporary emergency that takes them away. Band Mate app helps band leaders find reliable artists to fill their short term and long term vacancies.
  • Pop-Away by Nigyar Guliyeva
    Ear protection for travelers that eliminates the pain from pressure changes during flight. No more inflight headaches caused by colds and allergies. Just put on your PopAway and enjoy your trip.
  • Puppy Love by Zach Tokosh
    Puppy Love is the Tinder of apps for pet owners that want to find the perfect mate for their pet and themselves.
  • Fur-B-Gone by Aaron Miller
    Professionals that wear dark clothes know that pet hair can wreck your appearance and sanity. Fur-B-Gone is an actively charged hair attraction device that can repel cat fur and keep the sweater fur ball free.  

The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is marking its 90th anniversary well as the 50th year of the campus in its Richland Township location. Pitt-Johnstown was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” The distinctive combination of Pitt-Johnstown’s people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success. Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World.