Nikola Labs Wins OSU Business Case Competition

COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 7, 2015

A team of OSU engineering students with the help of local entrepreneurs under the name Nikola Labs, took top honors at Ohio State’s annual Business Plan Competition. Their venture to commercialize a revolutionary energy harvesting technology gets a boost with $17,000 in prize money.

Team Nikola Labs won $15,000 for its plan to use energy transmitted during Wi-Fi connection and voice and data communications to charge wireless devices. The team also earned the $2,000 Clean Energy Award, sponsored by Ohio State’s Office of Energy and Environment.

Forming the Nikola Labs team are mechanical engineering student Pareekshith Allu; Assistant Professor-Clinical of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Wladimiro Villarroel; mentor John Bair, executive director of Ohio State’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence; and Will Zell, entrepreneur and co-founder of Nikola Labs LLC.

Nikola Labs will represent Ohio State when the team competes later this month in the Rice Business Plan Competition in Houston, Texas. 

About Nikola Labs
Founded in October 2014, Nikola Labs is a partnership of The Ohio State University, Ikove Venture Partners, and Ohio State professors. Nikola Labs specializes in wireless power solutions and radio frequency (RF) energy harvesting for mobile devices. The company's energy harvesting system converts ambient RF signals – such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and LTE — into usable DC power suitable for sensors and devices.

Ohio State Business Plan Competition
Conducted by Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization (TEC) Institute at The Ohio State University, the Ohio State Business Plan Competition stimulates and nourishes the entrepreneurial spirit in full-time and part-time Ohio State University students. In particular, this competition seeks to:

  • Encourage entrepreneurially-oriented graduate and undergraduate students to develop and grow new ventures based on their own ideas and technologies.

  • Provide the students with educational workshops to develop their ideas and pitch their ventures to investors. These programs provide constructive feedback for increasing the probability of successfully launching their ventures.

  • Provide the best business plans with substantial resources to assist the winning student teams with launching their ventures.