Aerospace Fan Blows Away Competition at 2018 Bronco Startup Challenge

Fantom team members hold first place certificates beside Dean Rolland

A fan design borrowing technology from NASA to improve efficiency by more than 30 percent over traditional blades was a judge and audience favorite at the 2018 Bronco Startup Challenge.

The 2018 rendition of the Bronco Startup Challenge was held the night of May 17 at the Bronco Student Center. Entrepreneurs within the Cal Poly Pomona community presented a gamut of items including vegan pastries and a portable hydroponics to a panel of successful business owners. Ten finalists were chosen to compete for more than $10,000 in prize money.

Members of the NASA CPP Business Startup Program, a partnership where proprietary data is exchanged for a percentage of revenue if a product makes it to market, was awarded first by the judges and voted audience favorite. IBM’s Vincent Hsiao used Fantom’s five minutes of stage time to woo judges with a numbers comparison like 5,573 CFM to 3,877 CFM and operating noise of 53dB as opposed to 82dB emitted by its closest 24-inch competitor.

Prior to the pitch portion, more than 150 guests interacted with alumnus Justin Rezvani and Facebook’s Farhana Haque during a fireside chat. A full photo album has been posted and below is a description of the nine other finalists participating in the 2018 Bronco Startup Challenge.

DROWT – Contaminated water in remote locations can be made useable with the Decentralized Off-Grid Water Treatment system. College of Engineering students behind DROWT use solar power to treat up to 90 gallons of water a day with no carbon footprint.

Cal Poly Eats – The motto for the classroom food delivery service is, “Never Learn Hungry.” Uber Eats goes to college would be one way to describe the application currently in development stages. Users choose from a list of available on-campus dining options to be delivered to his or her classroom. For a surcharge, another student will wait in line before bringing hassle-free cuisine to a predetermined meeting spot.

Eventbot – Event planners know the importance of having complete measurements of a venue, but the expense of surveying prevents it from being practical at many locations. Eventbot is a palm-sized solution to measuring locations capable of scanning an area in minutes. With one visit, planners can view and cost-effectively record every detail for later use.

 Zaluma – Fashionistas with a penchant for entertainment can use Zaluma to simultaneously feed both passions. The application allows users to directly select an item being worn on a television show or movie, then searches online for where to buy the clothing at the lowest price.

Quants – Vegans can enjoy delicious treats with regular doorstep delivery thanks to Quants. Whether it be for convenience or nutrition, subscription-based meal delivery services are surging in popularity. Quants looks to fill a market void with its boxed vegan bakery.

E-Plushies – Traditional stuffed animals are getting a technology update with the help of E-Plushies. The smart toy redefines companionship by offering a customizable list of options to tailor the interactive experience based on age and interest.

QartonTech – Savvy shoppers looking to save more money have a new tool to use with QartonTech. The mobile application scans a barcode, then cross-references among online retailers for up-to-the-minute pricing. No barcode to scan? QartonTech can also search based on a photo of the product.

Hy-Stack – Hydroponic gardening made efficiently and easy is what Hy-Stack hopes to accomplish. The modular grow system can be tailored to individual needs with a variety of options and attachments. In addition to being self-contained, Hy-Stack is designed with a minimal footprint.

Flatlay - Users can easily build digital shops in minutes with the application Flatlay. The credit-based system provides a point for every dollar spent and five for every dollar other users spend on your collection. The platform also allows brands to see and connect with influencers.