Klamath Falls, Ore. – A ‘Shark Tank’ competition is underway at Oregon Tech, featuring student entrepreneurs vying for seed money to start their own business.
Joslyn Lindsey is working with a team called ‘Minimize’. “We are working on bringing a tiny house manufacturer to Klamath Falls. So, tiny houses are houses that are between 100 square feet, and 300 square feet.”
Coordinator Mark Ahalt says seven teams are taking part in the ‘Catalyze Klamath’ Shark Tech competition. “We’re trying to get students to actually see their senior projects and the things they’re doing on campus, have traction outside.”
The teams pitch their concepts to a field of seven judges.
Those concepts include 3-D scanning, solar beehives, and CNC metal fabrication.
“Computer numeric control is what it stands for.” Explains K.C. Crawford of MOG Metalworks and Design. “Basically, it spits out a bunch of numbers and tells the motors how far they need to go in which direction.”
The teams also get valuable practice in pitching their ideas.
“Catalyze Klamath Falls was built upon the idea of keeping students here in the community.” Notes Crawford. “And I know in the future I can hire some Oregon Tech students.”
Mark Ahalt says the teams will meet again for a final competition this spring.
“In May, we’ll have the formal ‘Catalyze’ competition, and I think this year there’s $17,000 that will be divided among the top three players.”
This is the sixth year Oregon Tech has hosted the competition.
The prize money is raised by a mix of private and public donors.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.