University of Maryland, College Park students’ flushing system wins Pitch Dingman Competition

By Daily Record Staff

April 29, 2020

A group of seniors at the University of Maryland, College Park won the $15,000 grand prize at the Pitch Dingman Competition, the university’s annual “Shark Tank”-style business event.

The group — A. James Clark School of Engineering seniors Charles Grody, Jack Sturtevant and Tuvia Rappaport and Robert H. Smith School of Business senior Roger Mao – won the virtual pitch competition with the creation of Hydraze, an improved automatic flushing system for use in commercial buildings that aims to eliminate “phantom flushing” and save millions of dollars in wasted water. The team also took home the audience choice award.

Grody said he got the idea from public restroom toilets that would flush automatically without need, wasting water in the process.

The competition, now in its 10th year, is hosted by the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

During the finals, a panel of judges composed of entrepreneurs and innovators assessed each startup’s current level of success, plan for using the funds and overall growth potential.

Hydraze, the water conservation company whose automatic flushes are prompted not by a motion sensor, but a mechanism on the latch of the bathroom stall’s door, plans to use the Pitch prize money for marketing and development.

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Source: The Daily Record