Hunt for the Top Dog happens Friday in University Hall

Who will be Best in Show?

The answer comes this Friday in the 2019 TOP DOG New Venture Championship (NVC). A total of $16,000-plus in cash and prizes will be awarded among the seven multi-disciplinary teams competing, teams that advanced from the TOP DOG Idea Pitch last fall.

All pitches — the first is at 9:30 a.m. — and the awards ceremony beginning at 3:30 p.m. are in University Hall 134. Join the audience at any point during the day to view the pitches and the judges’ Q&A sessions. There are no pitches between 11 a.m.-12:25 p.m.

The complete schedule is below.

Supporting sponsors include the College of Business (COB), the College of Engineering and Science, the Innovation Enterprise Fund, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, the Louisiana Tech Enterprise Center, and the Louisiana Tech Technology Business Development Center.

The College of Engineering & Science, the College of Business, and the Innovation Enterprise Fund have contributed a total of $6,000 to fund the first-, second-, and third-place awards.

A new award for $8,000 in-kind services to fund legal business formation and patent application is being awarded by the College of Business grant program through a group of COB alumni and friends who support this grant and vote each year on the applications. TOP DOG NVC is a recipient this year.

The $2,000 Jones Walker Entrepreneurial Spirit Award recognizes the team with the most entrepreneurial spirit.

Winning teams are eligible for six months of University incubator space if they continue to pursue their ideas.

These are the event’s business planning mentors this year, and each has devoted many hours to help the competing teams: Dr. Melissa Dobson, Dr. Andrea Drake, Dr. Son Le, Dr. Julie Moulard, Dr. Kirk Ring, Rich Kordal, Dr. Bill McCumber, Jeremy Pendergrass, Dr. Bob Sweitzer, and Jessica Wasserman.


Hero Robotics
9:30-9:55 – A satellite-type UAV for aerial crop surveillance that carries a payload and flies indefinitely.

10-10:25 – A portable system that will produce four gallons of clean water for individuals in the aftermath of natural disasters.

10:30-10:55—A low-cost 3D printer kit and textbook for STEM education


Polar Case
12:30-12:55—All-in-one device holding the most important diabetes supplies in a compact, temperature-controlled, inconspicuous unit.

1-1:25—This device replaces a kitchen spice rack and eliminates the need for measuring spices and marinades/rubs.

Sea Skimmer
1:30-1:55—A robot watercraft that cleans litter and debris from bodies of water.

Safe & Sound
2-2:25—A household smoke detector with wall-mounted controls.