UD grad wins $25K in ‘Flyer Pitch’ for his stadium seat invention

Zach McHale is presented with the top prize of $25,000 in the University of Dayton’s 11th annual Flyer Pitch competition.
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Zach McHale is presented with the top prize of $25,000 in the University of Dayton’s 11th annual Flyer Pitch competition.

A University of Dayton alumnus won the college’s Flyer Pitch competition and $25,000 toward his patent-pending invention.

Zach McHale, a 2006 UD graduate, won for his creation called the “Neet Seat.” The device is a pouch that can be attached to seats in stadiums and arenas to hold coats and other items, according to the university.

McHale, who graduated from UD with after earning a degree in chemical engineering, won the Flyer Pitch competition after six rounds of competition featuring more than 200 teams.

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Cash prizes were awarded to all six finalists, according to the university.

The second place prize of $15,000 went to former professional baseball player Jim Ward and his daughter, UD alumna Tiffany Pikas. The pair designed a patented device called “HitGrip,” which helps athletes control their swings in baseball and golf, according to UD.

Third place and a $10,000 prize went to something called “S.T.A.R,” which was originally developed through UD’s ETHOS Center. “S.T.A.R.” is an environmentally friendly refrigeration method designed for use in areas with unreliable energy sources, according to the university.

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