Saluki Idea Competition | Entrepreneurship | SIU

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Saluki Idea Competition

The Saluki Idea Competition takes place on the SIU Carbondale campus each fall.   Individual students and student-led teams compete for prizes by submitting commercially viable, technology-based ideas related to the competition theme. 

Read More: 2013 | 2012

Get Connected

Saluki Idea Competition Facebook Page - stay up to date on the latest news, and connect with possible teammates.

Fall 2013 Overview

The 2013 theme was “Innovating for Impact” and entries required a positive social and/or environmental impact.  Eleven teams competed in the online voting round, and five in the final round. The three honorable mentions received $50, the second place winner received $600 in cash and grant funds, and first place winner received $1,100 in cash and grant funds.  Read about it in the DE.

The judges were:

  • Jim Garvey, SIU’s Interim Vice Chancellor for Research
  • Dennis Cradit, SIU’s Deputy to the Chancellor for Innovation and Regional Engagement
  • Robyn Laur Russell, SIU’s Director of business Development and International Trade
  • Lawrence Cruz, Chief Patent Counsel for Conair Corporation
  • Chester Wilson, Associate Professor of Engineering at Louisiana Tech
  • Jeff Martin, CEO of Dwarven Forge

The teams in the final round were judged on five categories:

  1. Novelty of idea
  2. Applicability to the theme
  3. Strategy and business approach
  4. Submission content overall quality
  5. Elevator Pitch

The results were as follows:

First Place:

D.scribe -

Chris Faller and Briana Royster both senior Industrial Design students

Second Place:

Solar Radiation Water Pump for Developing Countries or Off-grid Communities - Felipe Paulino Silva & Abdiel Quetz

Abdiel Quetz Graduate Student Physics

Felipe Silva - Exchange student (Brasil)  junior in Mechanical Engineering

Honorable Mention:

PowerPrice - Azadeh Omrani-Kermani

MBA Student

ReNew -

Claude Leco Double Major in Industrial Design and Art Communication

Gene Park Double Major in Industrial Design and Photography

Solar For All

David Schau

Double Major, Junior in Architecture and Technical Resource Management.  Minor in Environmental Studies.

Geoff Schau

Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering, (Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, 2012.

Masters, Electrical Engineering,  (M.A. Portland State University, 2015

Graduate Student at Portland State University

Fall 2012 Overview

Read about it in the Daily Egyptian.

Individual students and student-led teams competed for prizes by submitting commercially viable ideas related to this year’s competition theme: SUSTAINABILITY IN YOUR COMMUNITY. The mission of the Saluki Idea Competition was to boost SIU Carbondale student and community involvement with innovative thinking and business development to address local and global challenges.

The first round of online crowdvoting was open to the public. In the second round, the top five vote getters gave 3-minute “elevator pitch” presentations to a panel of distinguished judges at the Technology and Innovation Expo on October 19, 2012. Scoring by the judges determined the winners.


First place: EcoLight 

EcoLight provides an environmentally-sound option to replace existing street lamps located at well-trafficked areas such as corporate drives, school campus roads, and parking lots for commercial shopping centers. This product harnesses power through the combination of kinetic and solar energy, which converts it into sustainable electricity. Low-profile rumble strips are placed strategically in front of each lamp. Embedded into these strips are roadway-based energy harvesting systems. As a vehicle drives over the strips, the vehicle's energy is then stored into the storage system. In order for the light to run, the lamp will draw energy from the battery as needed, or power it directly. This lamp can be installed onto bases of existing lampposts. When properly wired it will have the ability to provide surplus electricity back into the power grid. A photovoltaic panel located on the top of each lamp provides additional backup power to the storage system. This redesigned lamp is self-contained, reducing additional materials necessary during installation. Team: John Leco, Gene Park, Eric Sai 

Second Place: Saluki Sustainable Store

The Saluki Sustainable Store means to foster an awareness of local goods available on campus and make these available to the Southern Illinois community under one roof. Sustainable Student Store is a place where the campus community can buy the currently grown fruits, vegetables, and meat and dairy products on campus. Items that could be branded as SIU own are Saluki ice cream, meat products, student sustainable and organically grown vegetables, wine and table grapes, Southern Illinois’s best peaches and apples. All these items are sold currently or have the potential to be sold as “Saluki’s” own and make them more readily available to the campus community. Other items and activities on campus should also be showcased in the store are plants, crafts, workshops, and campus activities. These items should be embraced and made more available to the public, and educate our community on the current and future issues we face keeping these products available. Team: James Anderson, Nick Ouellette, Mary Fisher, Travis Killion, Nick Gerfen, Lauren Arteman, April Vigard

Honorable Mention:
A Special Daily; Innovation to Advertising, Robert Ford 
Data Stopper, Alex Glasnovich 
Intelligent Non-Destructive Evaluation System for Aircraft Composite Inspections, Anish Poudel

Other Competing Teams:

  • wine4wounds, to promote the health benefits of wine
  • SAFE (Sustainable Alternative Fueled Environment), cellulosic ethanol community
  • Drive Green - copper-free brake pads
  • Power Caulk Gun
  • HCV Test (eventually withdrawn for IP reasons)
  • Why Waste It? community composting
  • Dogs and PeePoo - biodegradable pathogen-killing dog waste baggies
  • Life at Southern - App
  • ExploreAmericanWine - promoting wine industry

For more information, contact, or call (618) 453-4556. 

Thanks to everyone who voted online and our panel of judges: John McCalister, Entrepreneur in Residence, Nidus Investment Partners; Silvia Secchi, Assistant Professor, Agribusiness Economics; J Dennis Cradit, Dean, College of Business; Joey Mak, Acting Deputy Director, IL Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity; Blaine Tisdale, President, SIU GPSC.