Creators seek to incite change

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January 26, 2016

By Brad Allen

The UW-Whitewater student chapter of the Enactus organization was just one of several groups attending the January Innovator’s Showcase to present their ideas of how to improve the world through technology.

The Innovator’s Showcase featured many presentations from various companies and student organizations including five Innovation Center companies, four Whitewater Incubation Programs and two student organizations.

The showcase was held on Jan. 21, at the Whitewater University Technology Park Innovation Center.

One of the student organizations presenting at the event, Enactus, currently is focused on several projects within the local community.

Enactus is an international entrepreneurial organization committed to solving daily problems through innovation, partnerships and sustainability.

“You can get experiences you can’t get with a degree,” said senior Richard Guidry, former president of Enactus. “It’s important for students to realize you can be an entrepreneur, and you can change the world.”

The student organization recently helped to redesign the web page and logo for Dale’s Bootery, located in downtown Whitewater.

Another project Enactus is working on is the Scouting Forward project, which is a mission to go to various high schools in the area to promote farming jobs in today’s society.

Enactus is also involved in Combat Blindness, a project to perform cataract surgeries at a low cost.

The proceeds will go to training programs to recruit those who have received low cost surgeries to work for the company, in order to pay it forward and help other patients to recieve low-cost cataract surgeries as well.

Enactus is partnering with Peak Vision, Inc. to identify both high and low risk patients, as well as facilitate partnerships in an effort to fund the training programs for the recruited patients.

“I enjoy the ability to take what I’ve learned and then work with others to help change lives,” Guidry said.

Enactus also is currently involved in the Studio 84 project, a non profit art gallery that teaches art media to individuals with disabilities.

“It’s a very powerful, enabling thing for these students,” Guidry said.

Enactus has a current goal to create better social media advertising for the project.

Enactus’ fundraiser to engineer a hydroponics farming system to be implemented into an impoverished community in Linaca, Honduras is currently in its final developmental stage. Enactus raised over $9,500 in its Indiegogo campaign, and is currently working on building the greenhouses. Enactus is partnered with Pennsylania State University.

“It’s very empowering, and it’s social justice,” Guidry said. “Who doesn’t feel good at the end of the day when they’re doing something decent?”

The Enactus contacts located in Honduras will construct the greenhouse farming systems in Linaca. The hydroponics farm was planned to be implemented by 2017; however, the project is a few months ahead of schedule, and the farming systems may be implemented sooner.

“There’s no definite date, but this project has been moving forward very rapidly,” Guidry said.

In April, Enactus plans to bring a world famous entrepreneur from Botswana to campus for a presentation in the Young Auditorium.

One of the Whitewater Incubation Programs presenting at the Innovator’s Showcase was HukTV Mount, created and run by junior Sam Lukach.

“The issue I faced when first coming to college was finding a place to mount my TV,” Lukach said. “I made a prototype design the second week of my freshman year.”

The mount is designed to hang from the rail of a lofted bed, and the mount can also hang from nearly any horizontal object.
Two hooks are attached to the back of the TV, and these hooks act as a hanger to mount the TV. These mounts only work with flat-screen televisions (V.E.S.A. models).

“I laid the groundwork and worked on the Patton during my sophomore year,” Lukach said. “There wasn’t anything out there like it, to mount your TV in a dorm room.”

No other TV mount is as portable, and can be taken from one room to another, according to Lukach.

The product requires little effort to install, and takes about 60 seconds to set up, Lukach said.

“It’s fun seeing something you designed be sold, and fulfilling a need is rewarding,” Lukach said. “People actually wanted it.”

HukTV Mount has sold approximately 200 units so far.