Ohio University

Voinovich students receive first place at 2017 Expo Pitch Competition

Voinovich students receive first place at 2017 Expo Pitch Competition

The Green Mappers, a team of two Voinovich School students, won first place at the 2017 Expo Pitch competition for their idea of an interactive map that would increase fundraising efforts for organizations.

The team included first-year Environmental Studies graduate student Linsey Edmunds, Honors Tutorial College freshman Rachel Martin and Mohammad Hashim Pashtun, a doctoral candidate in the Russ College of Engineering.

After finishing in second place at the fifth annual Scripps College Innovation Challenge, the team decided to pitch their idea again at the Expo Pitch Competition.

“I honestly didn’t even know there was an idea pitch at the Expo,” Edmunds said. “Hashim said to check this out, and since we already had everything ready we thought we’d give it a shot. It worked out.”

Their idea came from a challenge posed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental group looking to increase their fundraising efforts.

The concept would allow NRDC, or any organization, to build and customize an interactive map that highlights the work that being accomplished in a given area. Pictures, social media connections, and donations options would all be available for patrons to follow progress. Donors could target donations to an area or project, instead of the whole organization.

“I think our idea is feasible,” Edmunds said. “I also think it really does address a need. One of the panel judges showed us its value.”

That judge, who works for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, said that this would be incredibly helpful for his organization. Since so many people want to donate towards specific parts of the hospital, the map will allow them to know that their money is going towards something they select.

With two successful pitches complete, the team has reached a point where they need to decide whether to continue the venture. After the first pitch the team felt finished, but they aren’t so sure after the second.

“One of the judges was from TechGROWTH Ohio and is interested in taking out idea to the next step,” Edmunds said. “There’s still a lot of questions, like how this would be made available.”

While the team contemplates the future of the idea, they can be proud of the success in the 2017 Expo Pitch Competition. Congratulations to the Green Mappers and the other participants in another successful pitch competition.