MURRAY, Ky. — A team of Murray State University students recently found success at the Alltech Innovation Competition in Lexington, securing the undergraduate first place prize with their venture Pip & Dip.

The team, which consisted of Aaron Stevens (Cadiz), Blakely Broder (St. Charles, Missouri) and Jordan Young (Princeton), used 3D printing technology to develop a finger brace that optimizes efficiency and reduces discomfort for those with a sports- or work-related injury or natural deformity. Stevens and Young will both graduate from Murray State this spring with degrees in engineering physics, while Broder is a sophomore and presidential fellow majoring in management/entrepreneurship.

“This competition allows students with emerging ideas the opportunity to bring their vision to life,” Young said. “This accomplishment is more than just an amount of money but rather the beneficial experience it provided along the way. This has also opened many doors for future relationships to grow and attend competitions such as this one.”

The students were awarded the top prize of $10,000 as the winning undergraduate team for the competition, which included groups from Bellarmine University, Berea College, Georgetown College, Kentucky State University, Morehead State University, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Pikeville and Western Kentucky University.

“We are very appreciative for Alltech’s support of young entrepreneurs across the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” said Steve Dublin, senior lecturer of management in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business and advisor for the three students. “Blakely, Jordan and Aaron are outstanding examples of the quality of our students. They are extremely dedicated to quality work and spent countless hours developing and refining their product idea and business plan. The competition at this level is very difficult and their performance was outstanding. It has been a pleasure working with and advising such talented students.”

Stevens called the competition “an amazing opportunity for future inventors, innovative minds and entrepreneurs to get their ideas out there,” while Broder was complimentary of the event for “allowing us to experience the process of taking an idea and turning it into a business.”

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