• August 3, 2020
  • BY Radius Indiana
  • News

Radius Indiana Announces Winners of Royalty-Free IP Pitch Competition

BEDFORD, Ind. (Aug. 3, 2020) — Radius Indiana, in coordination with Elevate Ventures, Naval Surface Warfare Center-Crane Division (NSWC Crane), and the Indiana Small Business Development Center (ISBDC), is proud to announce the winners for its “Royalty-free IP” Pitch Competition that was held virtually on Thursday, July 30.  Winning entries will share in cash prizes totaling $5,000.


  •     First Place | Sarpedon ($3,000 prize)
  •     Second Place | ValgoTech ($1,500 prize)
  •     Third Place | Pierce Aerospace ($500 prize)

Sarpedon, made up of team members Don Alvarez and Will Glaser, won the pitch competition with their idea involving the use of Crane technology for preventing tampering to integrated circuits – an existing project into which they were able to incorporate the Crane technology.

ValgoTech, consisting of eight team members headed by Dr. David Olawale, focused on Crane technology in a battery charger and power reduction system to improve and accelerate battery recharging for drones.

Pierce Aerospace, a team of six led by Aaron Pierce, used Crane technology to develop drone tracking to help with the identification of drones.

Each participant/team was given 10 minutes to present his or her product/service. Slideshow presentations were presented to the judges and a question and answer session was included for each team. Teams were judged on a variety of criteria that ranged from identifying markets, to the sales approach presented, to the explanation of major milestones.

“Entering the Pitch Competition was like jumping to warp speed – learning about NSWC Crane’s patent portfolio, identifying the critical tech we needed, and securing a license , all in just a couple days,” said Alvarez. “The key to innovation is paying attention when you learn something new. I’m paying attention. Thank you NSWC Crane and Radius for shifting our thinking from the (Silicon) Valley to learning about what’s happening in a completely different area of the country.”

Radius Indiana created the concept for the royalty-free IP pitch competition after learning of NSWC Crane’s Rapid Response Licensing Program, which launched this spring in response to COVID-19. The Technology Transfer (T2) Program at NSWC Crane, Indiana’s only federal research lab, opened its portfolio of 300+ patented technologies to entrepreneurs to help rapidly transition federal research and development into the commercial sector and to help stimulate the economy. Nonexclusive licenses are available to any interested business, start-up, or entrepreneur for a set period of time without royalties or fees. Radius worked with Elevate Ventures and NSWC Crane to identify 10 technologies from the patent portfolio with high potential for a commercial market and a substantial degree of development.

The competition offered unprecedented, royalty-free access for those who seek to commercialize patented technologies and concepts developed at NSWC Crane. Radius and Crane leaders hope that businesses and entrepreneurs will use these technologies to support new jobs and economic growth.

The judges for the event were Eric Steele from Elevate Ventures, Joyce Polling from Ivy Tech and Matt Craig from Radius Indiana. Each judge came into the competition with previous pitch competition or NSWC Crane background.

“The competition highlighted three fantastic ideas which leverage Crane IP to build scalable business models,” said Landon Young, director of university initiatives and entrepreneur-in-residence with Elevate Ventures. “The event is a great example of leveraging the intellectual property in Indiana to accelerate our existing businesses and attract additional innovation-driven businesses to our state.”

Radius hopes to host more pitch competitions in the future. This competition comes after the first-ever regional pitch competition that Radius held in the fall of 2019.

“We felt that the powerful intellectual property portfolio emerging from NSWC Crane is under-appreciated by the commercial sector, and we wanted to call attention to it,” said Radius CEO and President Jeff Quyle. “We believe this type of event can help promote Crane’s IP and bring it to public light. An added and tremendous benefit of the pitch competition was the chance to pull together the resources of so many of the organizations that are working on bringing prosperity to southern Indiana. The professionals from the SBDC, Elevate Ventures, and NSWC all worked together in a very collaborative manner and helped each other maximize this first-time event.”

To view NSWC Crane’s entire IP portfolio, please visit www.techlinkcenter.org.


ABOUT RADIUS INDIANA: Radius Indiana is a regional economic development partnership representing eight counties in Southern Indiana: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Orange, and Washington. Formed in 2009, Radius Indiana also serves as a point of contact in Indiana for Naval Support Activity Crane and leads regional collaboration by leveraging the diverse assets of Southwest Central Indiana to drive attraction, retention and expansion of business, thereby increasing employment and investment opportunities and quality of life within the region.

About NSWC Crane: NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.

About Elevate Ventures: Elevate Ventures is a private venture development organization that nurtures and develops emerging and existing high-growth businesses into high-performing, Indiana-based companies. Elevate Ventures accomplishes this by providing access to capital, rigorous business analysis and robust advisory services that connect companies with the right mix of resources businesses need to succeed long term. To learn more about Elevate Ventures, visit elevateventures.com.

About Indiana Small Business Development Center: The Indiana SBDC creates a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of Indiana’s small businesses by providing entrepreneurs expert guidance and a comprehensive network of resources.