Oakland Graduate Bailee Kauffman Wins Awards for SafeSTICK

0
642
Photo of Bailee Kaufmann and Eagle Works Manager Andrea Kruszka provided by Tennessee Tech.

Bailee Kauffman explained in her Eagle Works presentation at Tennessee Tech of her product concept, SafeSTICK, that someone is sexually assaulted by the use of a date rape drug every 68 seconds. She herself experienced a spiked drink and wanted to do something about it. 

SafeSTICK is a solution to combat drink spiking and drug-facilitated sexual assault. The product functions as a sticker that bars and restaurants could place over a beverage at the point of sale to prevent would-be attackers from slipping unwanted substances into customers’ drinks. Kauffman has already developed a prototype for the product. 

“She has been working on this project since she was in high school,” explained Eagle Works Manager Andrea Kruszka. “I am so proud of her. She is going to move mountains.”

Murfreesboro native Kauffman came in third overall receiving a $2,500 scholarship in the Shark Tank-style event, which took place earlier this year, and also received the Robert O. Clouse Innovation Award, which carried an additional $500 scholarship. 

In the competition, Tech students compete before a panel of five judges from the business community. Each student develops a business concept, creates a trade show display, delivers a presentation and answers questions about the concept and its viability. From these elements the judges determined the winners. 

Receiving the awards was the highlight of Kauffman’s time at the University because the Eagle Works Competition was a driving force behind her decision to enroll at Tech.

“Eagle Works was my ‘why,’” said Kauffman in a press release. “I had a full ride to another university outside of the state, but knowing that Tech was able to provide these kinds of hands-on experiences for students – that was a huge deciding factor for me. It was a goal even before I got to Tech to place in the Eagle Works competition.”

Following her graduation from Tech, Kauffman became an outside sales associate district manager for ADP in Nashville, a comprehensive payroll and Human Resources solutions company. 

“I know this is just the beginning,” she said. “This was a win for me, but it [would] also [be] a win for our society if I was actually able to take this product to market.” 

Charissa Smith, a senior computer science major also from Murfreesboro, won for best trade show booth. Smith’s product concept was an app designed to divide costs for group purchases. 

“[It is a solution to the] never-ending issue of getting the short end of the stick in any group trip,” explained Smith in a press release.

At the 10th Annual Eagle Works Innovation and Enterprise Competition, eight finalist pitched their business ideas and competed for more than $20,000 in scholarship prizes.  

“This was one of the best years we’ve ever had for talent and ideas,” said Kruszka. “I was very impressed with every single student. Each one of them took advantage of all the resources available and gave 100 percent….”