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2020 InVenture Prize Update

The Georgia Chamber held its 2020 Georgia InVenture Prize informational meeting last month. The annual InVenture Prize competition is hosted by the Georgia Chamber and serves to promote innovative and entrepreneurial skills among college students across Georgia. Attendees had the chance to learn more about the competition and how beneficial it can be for colleges and universities in Georgia.

The meeting began with guest speaker, Benjamin Andrews, Statewide Program Manager for the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC). Andrews informed attendees how this competition will not only help students advance in their future careers but will also support the Georgia Chamber’s initiative to sustain the state’s economy. Other guest speakers included the inaugural InVenture Prize winners, team ExtendoSocket, from Fort Valley State University, and team Spartan Wheel Chariots, from Southern Regional Technical College.

ExtendoSocket, a team of four Fort Valley State University students, invented a cost-effective indoor retractable extension cord. Their invention led them to victory, as they are the 2019 Inventure Prize winners of the $25,000 grand prize and the highly sought after, “InVenture Prize Cup.” The team members informed attendees that their success came from “persistence and support” from those around them.

The team is now in the process of receiving a patent for the invention, ExtendoSocket. Derek Curry, one member of the team, shared that the experience from InVenture Prize was well worth it. “Regardless of what happens, you will meet good people along the way and make connections that will help you get your invention off the ground,” Curry said.

Benjamin Huntzinger, the founder and creator of Spartan Wheel Chariots, also recounted his InVenture Prize experience with attendees. Spartan Wheel Chariots is an affordable all-terrain wheelchair that provides those who are paralyzed with access to an outdoor and active lifestyle. Huntzinger informed attendees that InVenture Prize has made a great impact on his life.

Spartan Wheel Chariots is continuing to grow in demand. “I’m working nonstop to keep up with the tremendous demand. I’ve just placed another order for 50 wheels, tires, and tubes. I was able to do that with two week’s worth of sales,” Huntzinger said. Since the competition, Spartan Wheel Chariots has amassed a great number of supporters and garnered additional media exposure. “I’ve been interviewed by Atlanta news stations, and I’ve had articles run in the paper about me all over the southwest Georgia region. My biggest audience, however, is on social media. The Spartan Wheel Chariots Facebook page quickly generated a supportive community,” Huntzinger said.

Students who compete in the InVenture Prize competition will have the chance to pitch their invention to a group of expert judges. Competition winners can win prizes such as: cash, grants, scholarships, U.S. patent filing legal assistance, professional accounting services, or acceptance into business accelerator programs. The competition will be broadcasted live on April 2, 2020. Click here to watch a recap of the 2019 InVenture Prize Competition broadcast.

To register for the InVenture Prize competition, email Christina Tuck, ctuck@gachamber.com

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