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nwirc: empowering innovative ideas to strengthen our communities

Six months since the competition ended and we’ve got some updates from the winners.

Jacob and Ishani – TerraCotta

Jacob and Ishani – TerraCotta Multiple winners Jacob Davis and Ishani Gujral share how they combined forces to pursue one of the ideas they had during the competition. Find out more about their current business at

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Pietro and Pierre – Smart Asthma Inhaler

Pietro and Pierre – Smart Asthma Inhaler Pietro Paparella and Pierre Mourad submitted an idea for a smart asthma inhaler. They join us to talk about progress on their ideas 6 months after the competition ended. Description of the Idea: Aerosolized rescue asthma inhalers consist...

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Winners of the 2020 Amazon Catalyst Competition

The 2020 Amazon Catalyst Competition is over – our heartfelt thank you to all the participants and cities!
Below you will find details about the competition that ran during June-July 2020.


Economic Recovery

  • 1st—Jim Ballard
  • 2nd—Erin Zackey
  • 3rd—Allison Hall



  • 1st—Baha Abulnaga
  • 2nd —Scott Greeley
  • 3rd —Laura Denovan


Ocean Health

  • 1st—Craig Kasberg
  • 2nd—Deborah Granger
  • 3rd—Joelle Parrs Weinberg


Applied Life Sciences

  • 1st—Sebastian Duerr
  • 2nd—Jim Ballard
  • 3rd—Douglas Pohl



Health Care

  • 1st—Pietro Papparella
  • 2nd—Melanie Connor Lyons
  • 3rd—Karla Brunner



  • 1st—Jacob Davis
  • 2nd—Najwa Elmorr
  • 3rd—Harrison Kuo


Streamline Manufacturing

  • 1st—Justin Garcia 
  • 2nd—John Huenefeld



Mount Vernon

Food Supply Chain

  • 1st—Jacob Davis
  • 2nd—Ishani Gujral
  • 3rd—Sarah Garrison

The competition is now over!  Thank you to all the cities that participated and innovators for sharing your ideas. 

The NW Innovation Resource Center (NWIRC) was proud to sponsor the 2020 Amazon Catalyst Competition for NW Washington, a program aimed at supercharging innovation and encouraging individuals to think big for how to solve real-world problems, and make a positive impact on the world.  You can see details of all the cities and themes who participated here or by clicking on the Amazon Catalyst logo. 

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Innovation Insights – Conversations with Experts on Innovation in the themes.  

Over the next two months, we will be hosting a series of conversations with Subject Matter Experts in the various themes as well as innovation and entrepreneurship.  These conversations are designed to spark your creativity and inspire your innovative thinking so you can dream big about your big idea and the impact it can have on the world. 

Check back often as registration opens for different talks.  They will all be hosted online.  There will be time for Q&A at the end of each. 

All talks run from 12-1pm unless otherwise noted. 

 June 16, 2020 – The role of Adaptive Technology in innovation across industries.  Jodie Ryan, Sr. Manager of Threat Operations at Verizon Media.  Missed the event – no problem! It’s on YouTubeclick here to watch. 

June 18, 2020 – How Maritime innovations will help the economic recovery.  Last minute update:  Chris Meinig of NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Lab.  Missed the event – no problem!  It’s on YouTube – click here to watch.

June 23, 2020 – Innovations for keeping the oceans healthy for the next 10 years and beyond.  Dylan Vecchione, ReefQuest Founder.  Missed the event – no problem!  It’s on YouTube – click here to watch

June 30, 2020 – Cleantech Innovation Trends.  Eric Berman, E8 President & Co-chair Board of Directors. Missed the event – No problem! It’s on YouTube – click here to watch.

July 7, 2020 – Consumer Behavior Trends and the impact on food supply chains.   Kristina Kulik, Former Head of Launch Marketing for Amazon GoMissed the event – No problem!  It’s on YouTube – click here to watch. 

July 14, 2020 – Innovation opportunities the future presents for businesses – Mark Rubel, entrepreneur, investor and innovator.  Formerly of GE Ventures, Ericsson and Intellectual Ventures.  Missed the event – no problem! It’s on YouTube -click here to watch 

July 21, 2020 – Healthcare/Applied Life Science – Caitlan Cameron of Otonexus – a medical device startup.  Missed the event – no problem!  It’s on YouTube-click here to watch. 

Innovation Inspiration and Ideas

Why the Amazon Catalyst Competition?

Why the Amazon Catalyst Competition?

I made a video this week to share with you more about the Amazon Catalyst Competition, why we are doing and some of the things you may not know about how easy it can be to apply!

How do I know if my product idea is good?

How do I know if my product idea is good?

It is likely that 1/3 of you reading this have had an idea for a product at some point in time.  Perhaps it was a simple solution for one of life’s little nuisances or a life saving device, either way you know your idea was designed to make lives better.  However,...