Green Dog wins EWU Eagles’ Nest Pitch Contest


Mckenzie Ford

(Left to right) Junichi Minakata, Hayden Leslie, Ryan Halterman and Bobby Nguyen receive their first place and people's choice awards. They won $4,500 total for their Green Dog idea, a solution for dogs to be able to relieve themselves when their owners are gone all day.

By Marco Vargas, Reporter

Green Dog, one of the five teams in the Eagles’ Nest Pitch Contest finals, stole the show on May 17, winning $2,500 for first place and $2,000 for winning the people’s choice award which is decided by the audience members.

This was the third annual business pitch competition put on by the EWU Center for Entrepreneurship.

Ryan Halterman, a senior and one of the members of Green Dog, said that winning the top awards was a relief.

“We worked really hard all year,” Halterman said. “Most of the guys on the team come from the technology commercialization academy. It was really exciting. We were either going for first or nothing kind of thing. We knew that we had the best idea. We knew we could win it if we presented correctly or answered the judges’ questions.”

Mckenzie Ford
The panel of judges, made up of local business professionals, critiques the contestants as they present their business ideas. This is the third annual Eagles’ Nest Pitch Contest.

According to Halterman, Green Dog is an environmentally friendly and sustainable solution for pets that need to relieve themselves. Green Dog has created grass-like pads that Halterman and his team presented during the competition. In houses or apartments, pets can use those pads, which contain non-toxic substances to keep the surrounding air fresh.

“What we’re trying to do is reduce the amount of waste that we have, as well as not hurt the environment and give consumers a high quality dog lavatory in an apartment,” Halterman said.

Halterman said going against the other four teams in the finals was tough, but he praised those competitors for their hard work. The other four teams were The Intelligent Student, B-Active Performance Wear, and Smart Sprinkler.

“We all had really good ideas this year,” Halterman said. “The ideas that came through this year were really amazing. They all have good potential. The competition was pretty extensive even though there were only five of us this year.”

The goal of Green Dog, according to Halterman, is to keep momentum going from their early success.

“We need to meet and give ourselves a direction,” Halterman said. “We need people that are helping us put the idea together and get them more involved in manufacturing our prototypes and then test the market.”

Halterman said that Green Dog hopes to expand its business nationally and eventually globally.

“We want to test the local markets and then metropolitan areas like Seattle,” Halterman said. “We want to test markets in big cities where a lot of apartments take place and young professionals are gone for like 12 hours a day and can’t come home to let the dog out. They want something that’s nice, and it’s not going to hurt the environment.”