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 six years, student/alumni teams have competed for over $70,000 in prize money and services. The 2021 event is made possible through generous sponsorship and donations from AVISTA, City of Klamath Falls, Klamath County, Gaucho Collective, Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA), Klamath IDEA Center for Entrepreneurship, Oregon Small Business Development Center, VertueLab 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.

2020-21 Schedule of Events

Event Date  Location Additional Information
 Catalyze Klamath Falls Kick-Off October 28, 2020
 Zoom 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 13, 2021 TBD 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 January 22, 2020    Team registration is due at 5:00pm
 Catalyze Team Meet and Greet February 3, 2021 TBD 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 5, 2021   Preliminary concept submission is due at 5:00pm
 Shark Tech Venture Pitch Contest March 3, 2021 TBD This event will also serve to select finalists (if needed).  Mandatory for all teams 
Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge Contest April 15, 2021  Oregon Tech College Union 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

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.

Previous Catalyze Winners


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

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.

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

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