After a canceled event in the spring of 2020, Oregon Tech’s Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge is back and ready to serve 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, the 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.
The 2021 Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge will celebrate those students and alumni who have innovative ideas that will meet user-centered needs and be viable in the Klamath community. During the kick-off meeting on October 28, nineteen possible participants were joined by supporting faculty members and past Oregon Tech winners KC Crawford of MOG Metalworks (2017); David Murphy and Seth Gretz of Brevada Brewhouse (2018); and Tim Hasty of Klamath Tangent (2019); who have each leveraged their competition experience to remain in Klamath Falls after graduation and continue to build their businesses and explore opportunities for entrepreneurship in the region.
Catalyze 2021 will follow a similar format to previous years, with teams competing for cash prizes, receiving coaching and technical assistance from business professionals, participating in a Shark Tech pitch session, and developing a business plan to commercialize their ideas. The winning teams will receive cash and in-kind business support to enhance their ability to start and grow successful companies, and support regional economic development.
Oregon Tech is encouraging all students and recent alumni (2017 and later) from both the Colleges of Engineering, Technology, and Management and Health, Arts, and Sciences to consider forming multidisciplinary teams and competing in this year’s Challenge. To sign up for the challenge, visit https://tinyurl.com/Catalyze2021SignUp.
The Oregon Tech community is rich in talent and the Klamath community is rich in its desire and support to grow and sustain new invention-based companies in the region. Once again, Oregon Tech is partnering with InventOR, a state-wide prototype-based contest, to encourage any entrant with a submission that will result in a prototype to be considered for InventOR.
Preliminary Schedule of Events
- Oct. 28, 2020 - Jan. 15, 2021: Catalyze Team Registration Window. The final deadline to register is Jan. 15, 2021.
- January 13, 2021: Catalyze Klamath Challenge Network Meeting. This is a hosted event for students, faculty, and community members to learn about the contest and begin to form teams.
- April 15, 2021: Catalyze Klamath Falls Challenge Contest. Teams will compete in front of a panel of judges for the PRIZES! We will post a list of judges, prizes and final details when we get closer to the date.