Clemson University MBA student Josh Luetkemeyer won $7,500 for his business plan pitch at the DIG South conference in Charleston.
Luetkemeyer pitched his startup company Standard Ice, which creates premium cubes that last longer than regular ice and produce a less watered-down drink.
DIG South is an annual conference that draws more than 200 presenters and 1,500 attendees from across the country. Luetkemeyer was one of eight student/early-stage entrepreneurs selected to compete in front of a panel of experts and a live audience.
He is the second student in a row from Clemson’s MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation program to win first place in the business-plan pitch competition.
Luetkemeyer’s company designed a method to freeze cubes while filtering air, impurities and contaminants out and balancing the minerals and Ph factor for better flavor. The finished cubes are two inches in diameter and last eight to 13 minutes longer than the same volume of scooped ice.
The company currently sells the cubes at specialty liquor stores in the Upstate and is looking to actively expand nationally by selling the product to large chains.