Georgia Chamber promotes innovation

The Georgia Chamber of Commerce recently held its first annual Georgia InVenture Prize competition in partnership with the Technical College System of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Education and Georgia Public Broadcasting. During the two-day competition student entrepreneur teams from 19 colleges presented their unique business solutions to judges. At the end, two teams prevailed.

First place winner was Fort Valley State University’s Extendo Socket team. Extendo Socket is a retractable extension cord built into an outlet socket. With the push of a button, the cord reels back into the socket when it’s not being used. The team received a $25,000 cash prize along with the Georgia InVenture Prize Cup to display on campus until next year’s competition.

Ben Huntzinger in his Spartan Wheel Chariot

Second place and People’s Choice Award winner was Spartan Wheel Chariots, invented by Southern Regional Technical College’s Ben Huntzinger, who uses a wheelchair. His built-from-scratch creation features thick wheel treads that allow the rugged wheelchair to be used for off-roading and a more active lifestyle. He received a $25,000 cash prize and valuable business connections.

Sponsors of the chamber’s first competition to showcase the state’s innovation ecosystem and its college entrepreneurs included Georgia Power Foundation, the University System of Georgia, NCR Corp., Georgia Lottery Corp. and Gulfstream Corp.

Photo of InVenture Prize winners, college representatives and chamber officials provided by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.

Photo of Ben Huntzinger courtesy of Southern Regional Tech.

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