Catalyze Challenge

Igniting Entrepreneurship of Students and Recent Alumni of Oregon Tech

Oregon Tech’s Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge has been a huge success for student competitors and the Klamath community. Over the past eight years, student/alumni teams have competed for nearly $100,000 in prize money and services. The 2022 event was made possible through generous sponsorship and donations from AVISTA, the City of Klamath Falls, Klamath County, Gaucho Collective, Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA), Klamath IDEA Center for Entrepreneurship, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), Oregon Small Business Development Center, and the Wendt Family Foundation.

Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge aims to support business ideas and/or fledgling entrepreneurial activity from any field of study that produces a new idea, product or service that could become a thriving business in Klamath Falls, and has the potential for job growth in rural Oregon.

Previous Catalyze Winners


Stellarum Publishing Catalyze Klamath

2022: Stellarum Publishing

A customizable planning notebook and companion app that can be used to organize tabletop role playing games.

Team: Gabbi Pech (Business – Marketing) and Hayden Pech (Business – Marketing)

BioSpec Enterprise

2021: The BioSpec Enterprise 
An all-in-one indoor house plant monitoring system. The BioSpec Enterprise went on to compete in the Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge (InventOR).

Team: Abbey DuBois (Software Engineering Technology), Joshua Hewitt (Cybersecurity), Jared Monroe (Mechanical Engineering Technology) and Matt Volpe (dual Embedded/Software Engineering Technology)

The Reclaimers

2019: The Reclaimers
Turn recycled plastics into crude oil. The Reclaimers went on place first in the Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge (InventOR).

Team: Annika Andersen (Renewable Energy Engineering & Electrical Engineering), Ashlei Morgan (Mechanical Engineering) and Jessica Arrington (Mechanical Engineering)


2018 Winning Team: OrbitOWLS
Utilize new technology to send small satellites and other devices to space for a fraction of the price of current methods

Team: Micah Hicks, David Minar, Julien Mindlin-Davidson, Brandon Camp, Ben Porter

Helios Hive
2017 Winning Project: Helios Hive
A Solar Bee Hive which allows for the temperature regulation within a hive or set of hives, in order to assist with the elimination of the varroa mite. Inventor Mathias Dean is a Renewable Energy Engineering graduate.
GO Possibilities
2016 Winning Team: GO Possibilities
Production of graphene oxide
Team: Matthew Stansbury, Eric Tipler, Ben Fawver, Tate Orlik Hill
2015 Winning Team: Gro-volution
Sustainable agriculture production system ("In the box farming")
Team: Eric Wilson, Derek Pallett, Nathan Leung

2022-23 Schedule of Events




Additional Information

Catalyze Klamath Falls Kick-Off

November 2, 2022
 CEET 208 This is a hosted event for students, faculty, and community members to learn about the contest and begin to form teams
Pre-Registration Team Formation January 18, 2023 CEET 208 This is a hosted event for all prospective contestants to meet and network with potential team members as well as register for the event
Catalyze Team Registration Catalyze Team Registration   Team registration is due at 5:00pm
Catalyze Team Meet and Greet February 8, 2023  CEET 208 This is a hosted event for all teams to meet with the Catalyze Klamath mentor network and learn about available external resources
Preliminary Concept Submission February 13, 2023   Preliminary concept submission is due at 5:00pm
Shark Tech Venture Pitch Contest March 1, 2023  TBD  This event will also serve to select finalists (if needed).  Mandatory for all teams 
Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge Contest April 20, 2023 TBD Teams compete in front of a panel of judges for the PRIZES! A list of judges, prizes and final details will be posted prior to the competition


Winning teams are awarded cash prizes to invest in start-up costs and ignite project development, or to share among the Team.


Thank You Sponsors

City of Klamath Falls
Klamath County
Wendt Family Foundation
SBDC Oregon
gaucho collective
Klamath IDEA Logo
Business Oregon
Cypress Creek Renewable Logo

Impressions Logo


Winning teams are awarded cash prizes to invest in start-up costs and ignite project development, or to share among the Team.

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