George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Students pitch winning idea at annual competition

May 16, 2017

The H2knOw team formed by four Volgenau students, Wesley Pierce (CEIE), Joshua Messmer (CEIE), Ali Elsawaf (CEIE), and Priya Pelluru (IST), won second place ($500) at the Pitch IT 2017 competition held on April 22, 2017. 

Pitch IT 2017 was the fourth edition of Laboratory for IT Entrepreneurship (LITE)’s business idea competition led by Max Albanese and Mihai Boicu associate professor in the Department of Information Sciences & Technology.

The H2knOw team presented their business ideas to a panel of judges including faculty, entrepreneurs, and other business experts. The team is developing an app with an accessory to test for lead in drinking water. The app will offer tips and resources to help people obtain safe drinking water. The accessory will report the quality of water to the user’s phone and notify them if their drinking water is contaminated with lead.

The H2knOw team is participating in the Classroom To Makers Week (C2MW) program led by several faculty across campus. C2MW is funded by VentureWell to promote entrepreneurship and offer support to students who have ideas that could potentially be developed towards a commercial product.

“This is a year-long journey that provides not only expert assistance, but also microgrants, equipment, and supplies to go from idea to implementation” said Viviana Maggioni, assistant professor in the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering.

Wesley Pierce describes his team’s experience with the C2MW program and the Pitch IT competition as something that “has allowed us to challenge ourselves outside of the classroom. It has given us the opportunity to turn our ideas into reality and we look forward to growing as entrepreneurs and engineers."