A student startup company focused on developing innovative high-performance plastic and rubber materials has won this semester’s Vol Court competition.
Grow Bioplastics and its lignin-based plastic and rubber products took first place at the fall 2014 Vol Court Pitch Competition this week, beating out four other potential startups for the top prize. The company uses lignin, a waste stream from the pulp and paper industry, as opposed to petroleum, which is typically used in the manufacturing of plastics and rubber.
Jeff Beegle and Tony Bova, both UT energy science and engineering doctoral students and graduate research fellows of the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education, pitched their idea before a panel of local judges. Other Grow Bioplastics team members are Missy Showers and Robert Brese, also UT energy science and engineering doctoral students and Bredesen Center fellows.
The team won $1,000 provided by the UT Federal Credit Union, one year of free office space in the UT Research Foundation Business Incubator, consulting services courtesy of Pershing Yoakley & Associates, and legal advice from Morehous Legal Group.
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