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Case Study

Saint Gobain Competition Continues to Encourage Student Entrepreneurship

2014 Saint Gobain Design Competition Students

Case Western Reserve has a long tradition of alumni entrepreneurs. Companies such as Dow Chemical, Lubrizol, and craigslist were started by CWRU graduates. Now, a new generation of entrepreneurs is emerging on campus. For the past five years, the Saint-Gobain Design Competition has helped to fuel that fire. The competition encourages engineering innovation within a business context by having interdisciplinary teams develop prototypes of novel ideas and assess their inventions for marketability, profitability, and patentability. Teams have typically included not only members from a range of engineering and science disciplines, but also incorporated peers from the Weatherhead School of Management and the Cleveland Institute of Art. While intended to be an engineering-focused endeavor rather than a business plan competition, in many instances, the fruits of the teams’ efforts have laid the foundation for the creation of a student-led start-up company.

The winner of this year’s Saint Gobain Design Competition was Carbon Origins, an aerospace startup company with the goal to empower people with the best tools possible to explore the universe through the use of rapidly re-deployable rockets. CWRU students William Wettersten, Amogha Srirangarajan, Kailey Shara and Peter Dixon founded the company during the competition.

Sprav, an energy and water saving smart meter for the shower, was developed by CWRU seniors in engineering, Craig Lewis and C.J. Valle, and Cleveland Institute of Art graduate Andrew Schad. They recently won the Ohio Clean Energy Challenge and also took first place in last year’s Saint Gobain Student Design Competition at CWRU.

HolePatch LLC, offers an eco-friendly and cost-effective method to quickly patch potholes. It was developed by CWRU students Chimadika Okoye, Mayank Saksena, Nicholas Barron and Noah Gostout. They placed first in the 2011-12 Saint Gobain Student Design Competition.

To learn how you can advance innovation by partnering with Case Western Reserve, please contact the Office of Corporate Relations at 216.368.6665 or