Current and Past Spark Projects
Each year, students, faculty, and staff compete with each other in a unique competition: SparkTank. Winners come away with funding, mentorship, and the opportunity to take their innovations to the next level. Here are the grant winners taking part in this year's program:
The Farmer Foodie
The Farmer Foodie LLC is an established brand tapping into the rapidly growing plant-based food market with a unique and healthy Mac & Cheeze. The product is plant-based, gluten free, and made with organic ingredients. It is boxed and shelf stable, and sold directly to consumers. The founder Alison Elliott, is a product and recipe developer and has four years of industry experience as an organic farm education manager. This is her initial product launch, featuring desirable flavors she plans to incorporate into future products.
Project Insulin is an incorporated non-profit looking to create, manufacture, and distribute a bio-similar insulin glargine.
Sustainable aquaculture is growing the crops of the future. By 2050, there will be 2 billion more people on the planet and food production will need to increase by nearly 50 percent. Addressing food security is critical to feed a growing planet. We are connectors with a mission to improve coastal community livelihoods in Latin America through vertical regenerative ocean seaweed and shellfish farming. We provide training, resources, and new channels within the flourishing global seaweed market for vulnerable fishermen, women, and youth. By building community-led collectives, we can offer alternative income streams for families with a new and innovative farming practice.
The concept is to create jewelry such as necklaces and earrings that bear original designs with Chinese calligraphy. While there are many "name" or "alphabet" jewelry on the market, similar items with Chinese characters that are not clichés (beyond words such as ai 愛 [love] or heping 和 平 [peace]) are rare, and even less common if the design is done in classical calligraphic sophistication. As a professor and practitioner of calligraphy, I imagine basing the jewelry on my own calligraphy with inspirational and "badass" expressions to challenge stereotypes. Proceeds would partly go to causes against anti-Asian racism.
Mission Driven NFT
We connect students, alumni and donors to the school's mission by creating unique, interactive NFTs to support fundraising campaigns. From digital research molecules, to jerseys, buildings, and awards, we work with artists to create beautiful and inspirational NFTs from the unique stories of our partners. Our platform is everything the university needs to create branded NFTs, from consultation to marketing to drop.
Neu. aims to demystify and destigmatize mental illness through our inclusive community and fashionable apparel line that utilizes innovative technology to support people in conquering the challenges of everyday life. This apparel will include OmniFiber, a special type of fabric that can help regulate breathing to mitigate symptoms of major mental health conditions.
Tenant2Tenant: Rebalancing Power in Favor of Tenants
Tenant2Tenant is a nonprofit organization seeking to challenge the existing power dynamic between landlords and off-campus student tenants. Tenant2Tenant provides a platform to evaluate landlords, offers a consolidated place for resources, and connects students with their peers. Relationships with local universities enable us to reach vulnerable students in need of support, while creating a safe ecosystem to exchange information.