Seven teams advance in the PSU Cleantech Challenge for a shot at $10,000 top prize
Author: Christina Williams
Posted: January 24, 2019

Finalists will make their pitches at TechFest NW in April, top two teams will advance to InventOR

2018 PSU Cleantech Challenge winner Bio CleantechSeven student teams advanced in the first round of the 2019 Portland State University (PSU) Cleantech Challenge. The teams will spend the coming weeks developing prototypes for their earth-saving innovations that will be presented during the final round of the competition at TechFest NW at PSU’s Viking Pavilion on April 5. The winning team will receive $10,000 in cash and prizes and the top two teams will advance to the statewide InventOR competition.  

The PSU Cleantech Challenge, supported by Wells Fargo, gives students the opportunity to develop innovations that address the social, environmental, and economic challenges of the region and take their ideas from concept to reality. Each team receives a $1,500 for prototype development. In its seventh year, the Challenge has become an inspirational cornerstone of invention and entrepreneurship education at PSU.

Seven finalist teams advanced this month to the prototype development phase of the competition, having successfully pitched their ideas to a panel of judges who selected the finalist teams.

The seven competing teams represent PSU programs in computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, environmental sustainability, economics, and business. The teams include:

  • Excellent Devices: an early warning system for forest fires
  • Living Window: a hydroponic system for growing food in the home  
  • Meals by the Day: a meal planning app designed to prevent food waste
  • Mussel: a device for cleaning up floating plastics in rivers and lakes
  • Protechable: a biodegradable helmet for bike and scooter riders
  • SanctuAIRy: a technology for improving air quality in commercial aircraft cabins  
  • Turner Automotive: a kit for transforming a fossil fuel-powered car to hydrogen-powered

“This year’s slate of finalists represents a cross-section of innovation at Portland State,” said Juan Barraza, director of student innovation at the Center for Entrepreneurship at Portland State and lead organizer of the Cleantech Challenge. “Each of these teams has a solution that can make a positive impact on our world and I can’t wait to see the prototypes of their inventions at TechFest NW in April.”  

To learn more about the PSU Cleantech Challenge, visit Information about the InventOR competition can be found at