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Mspire 2023: Ohio’s Premier Pitch Competition Winners

MAGNET’s 8th annual Mspire pitch competition brought together the best and brightest in the region’s manufacturing industry to vie for more than $75,000 worth of business services and a $10,000 Huntington Innovation Award. Startups throughout Northeast Ohio were invited to apply for a spot in the competition, which took place at MAGNET headquarters on Thursday, September 21, 2023. In conjunction with MAGNET’s New Ventures team, the project intends to support manufacturing startups from ideation to revenue generation.

More than 70 applications were received for the Mspire competition, resulting in 22 semifinalists and nine finalists selected for the competition. The finalists included:

  • Arma: second-skin glove technology that would reduce glove waste by 80%
  • Aspire Sports: training belt that maximizes training efficiency for athletes
  • bTECH: new wound healing technology using microcirculation
  • Disinfection Technology Solutions, LLC: device that uses more efficient solution to disinfect medical equipment to prevent transmission of infectious materials
  • Earthen Made: artificial limestone technology which would minimize erosion
  • K&E Chemical: innovative material that will alleviate common issues found when using traditional titanium intramedullary rods for the treatment of orthopedic trauma injuries and replacements
  • Land Energies: specialty “e-moto” bikes, bridging the gap between e-bikes and e-motorcycles
  • US Positronix: innovative transport system for safe and cost-effective package delivery
  • Torchward: medical assistance technology on lower body compression garments to combat non-compliance

Each competitor had 20 minutes to pitch their business to a panel of judges and funders, comprised of industry experts. Judging panelists for the competition included Felix Brueck and Jim Garrett from Advanced Manufacturing Fund; Sid Good from Good Marketing Inc.; Larry Fulton from Fulton Equity LLC; Carrie Rosenfelt from Huntington; David Jarus from Innovation for Profit LLC; Josh Borstein from Jumpstart Ventures; Tom Green from Kastner Westman & Wilkins, LLC; Erika Moore and Marilea Campomizzi from Marcum LLP; Luis Carrion from Renner Otto; Linda Hale from University of Akron Research Foundation; and Andrea Navratil, Bass Khoury, Liz DeCarlo, Maggie Pryor, Matt Fieldman, Mike Keller, Mike O’Donnell, Nick McClellan and Ouday Taweel from MAGNET.

2023 Mspire Pitch Competition Winners:

Engineering Awards: Disinfection Technology Solutions LLC, Aspire, ARMA
Operations Award: LAND Energy
Huntington Innovation Award: ARMA and bTech

Larry Fulton of Fulton Equity LLC offered this about the level of expertise in this year’s competition: “The technology that we saw in this competition will keep Northeast Ohio on the cutting edge of manufacturing. The real-world implications will assist a wide range of industries, and the thought put into each entry is astounding.”

Sponsors of the event include Kastner, Westman and Wilkins, LLC (KWW) and Huntington Bank. This annual event offers various prizes customized to meet the needs of the entrepreneurs and can include services to assist engineering, marketing, operations support and more.

The finalists’ products and ideas will gain exposure to industry experts and potential investors through the Advanced Manufacturing Fund, a Northeast Ohio-based venture group that invests in early-stage high-potential manufacturing start-ups.

Andrea Navratil, MAGNET’s Director of New Ventures, noted, “what we saw here was just a fraction of the new technology and ideas being generated in this area. We hope that through MAGNET’s collaborative resources and partnerships, we will bring even more of these new ventures to fruition.”

Mspire is supported by the State of Ohio’s Entrepreneurial Service Program and the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership. Mspire Pitch Competition (

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