IIT Team Advances to Global Final in Idea to Product Competition

Four IIT teams make up the final round of the St. Louis Regional Competition

On April 6, four teams of IIT students competed in the Idea to Product (I2P) Regional Competition in St. Louis, MO. The IIT teams competed against twelve teams from the Midwest and swept the field, with all four IIT teams making up the final four in the competition.

The winning IIT team, who will advance to the I2P Global Competition in São Paulo, Brazil in November, is made up of:

  • Darya Ivankina (BSBA ’13), IIT Stuart School of Business
  • Yi Lu (MSF ’14), IIT Stuart School of Business
  • Alex Stiles (MMAE ’12), IIT Armour College of Engineering
  • Mauro Leos (MS IPMM ’13), IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law

The winning team pitched their company, Samambu LLC, which markets and distributes AbhadiTM, a thin, flexible nonwoven bamboo fiber mat that can be combined with plastics and formed into everything from furniture to appliances to parts for automobiles. As a B2B company, Samambu LLC operates within the “composites innovators” category, with a goal to disrupt the plastics industry and bring about lasting global change.

The winning team was coached by Nik Rokop, managing director of the IIT Stuart Knapp Entrepreneurship Center. The team also recently advanced to the final round of the Tepper Venture Challenge, hosted by Carnegie Mellon’s Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Association. As part of their I2P Regional victory, the team received a check for $2,500 to support their start-up.

The remaining three finalist teams from IIT were all from the Biomedical Engineering department at IIT Armour College of Engineering, and were coached by Jennifer Kang-Mieler and Derek Kamper, both Associate Professors of Biomedical Engineering, and Nik Rokop.

Congratulations to all on this outstanding IIT victory!