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UNLV Teams Win Tri-State Business Competition, Take Home $55,000 in Awards

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Geyser Flow Control, a water-saving device becomes the first Nevada team to win the top prize in contest history
Business and Community  |  May 24, 2012  |  By Megan Downs
Media Contact: Megan Downs, UNLV Office of Media Relations (702) 895-0898
Local businessman Peter Maksymec, holding his water-saving invention, is flanked by business students Michael Giannini, left, and Seth Ostrowski as they pose Feb. 29, 2012 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The trio are part of an engineering/business school sponsored program of business plan writing. (Aaron Mayes / UNLV Photo Services)

Two UNLV teams swept the graduate division of the Reynolds' Cup Tri-State competition in Las Vegas last night, a contest aimed at simulating the real-world process of entrepreneurs creating a business plan to solicit start-up funds from potential investors.

This is the first time a UNLV team has received the top prize since the competition began five years ago. UNLV beat out collegiate teams from Arkansas and Oklahoma.

"The sweep the graduate division is huge for us and I could not be more proud of our students," said Andrew Hardin, faculty advisor for the teams and director of the UNLV Center for Entrepreneurship at the Lee Business School.

Geyser Flow Control

Geyser Flow Control took home the first prize of $30,000. The water-saving device was created when UNLV students partnered with local entrepreneur Peter Maksymec to develop his business idea. Maksymec developed a metal disc that can be attached to a sprinkler head and limits water flow during a device malfunction. The tool reduces the flow of pressure to the sprinkler head, resulting in more concentrated water drops hitting the lawn. The team estimates the device could save as much as 10,000 gallons per year.

Earlier this year, the team received the grand prize at the Dominic Anthony Marroco 2012 Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition, as well as second place in the graduate category of the Nevada Governor's Cup. The company already has a Nevada business license and plans to begin production in June.

"This is giving us a lot of opportunity to show the community what we've done," Maksymec said. "The science for the product is there, now we need to get the word out to the public and take this technology to Clark County, the state and beyond Nevada."

Recpients included:

  • Michael Ginannini
  • Seth Ostrowski
  • Paul Kotchka-Smith
  • Erin Johnson

  • Joshua Ellison


In second place was MASH Tool USA, a team of UNLV students that created a business plan around a pogo stick shaped tool for use in landscaping. The MASH tool is designed to help dig and plow yards, is readily portable and weighs about 25 pounds.
MASH tool was conceived by UNLV engineering students as part of a bi-annual senior class completion to design and create inventions with commercial potential that solve everyday engineering challenges.
Students in UNLV's Master of Business Administration program then teamed up with engineering undergraduate students to develop business plans for the projects. UNLV began the partnership between engineering and MBA students about two years ago and has experienced continued success in several regional competitions.
Earlier this year the MASH Tool team received first prize in the graduate division for the Nevada Governor's Cup.

Recipients included:

  • Angela Douglas,
  • Elizabeth Lewis
  • Sarah Zalas
  • Brandon Peters
  • Peter Nazarechuck