College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Cyclone engineering seniors receive first place in pitch off competition for automated medicinal sprayer product

Dakota presenting at the competition
Dakota presenting at the competition

What started as an idea is now becoming a reality for Dakota Belling, senior in civil engineering, and Eugene Meyer, senior in industrial engineering.

The sixth annual Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship college-by-college pitch off was just completed this month – with Belling and Meyer placing first in the “New Idea” category, receiving a $5,000 award. The students participating in the pitch-off have to go through several rounds for the potential to win, and pitch their idea in 90 seconds to panels of judges.

Dakota and Eugene presenting

Belling and Meyer presented their idea, an automated medicinal sprayer system for cattle, several times as they moved up in the competition. Their product idea identifies individual cattle and applies the appropriate drug, dosage, and frequency of delivery. The duo’s idea has two huge impacts: reducing chemical waste and alleviating manual work by farmers.

“Utilizing our system alleviates the amount of manual work for a farmer, which will result in labor savings,” Belling said. “And applying medicines in an appropriate amount reduces wasted chemical products.”

As Belling continues to propel forward with new and innovative ideas, he wants to help as many people as he can along the way. Running a small business that is developing a product with a positive impact on society is the main goal, he says. And now, he is one step closer to making that dream a reality.

“Doing well in this event meant a lot to us, and the future of our business endeavors,” Belling said. “We spent countless hours preparing for 90 seconds. With knowledge gained from this experience, I can share what I learned with other people who want to become entrepreneurs.”