The Southern Maryland Innovation and Technology (SMIT) meetup and PaxSpace announced Lowell Cade, Founder of RYG Light LLC, as the first place winner of the Crab Pot Pitch Contest. Cade received a $5,000 cash prize to further his concept, a bushel of crabs, and a one-year membership to PaxSpace, a member-operated makerspace where entrepreneurs can work on their projects.
“Mr. Cade and his fellow competitors at the Crab Pot Pitch Contest are setting the bar higher for all entrepreneurs,” commented Kelly Robertson-Slagle, director of the Calvert County Department of Economic Development. “Ground-breaking technologies, new solutions to old problems and cutting-edge inventions helped shape the American economy; watching these creative ideas come to fruition right here in Southern Maryland is very exciting for all of us.”
Lowell Cade’s invention of the RYG Light, a portable, handheld device is used to control pedestrian and auto traffic. Last week, his patented device won first place in the Southern Maryland Innovation and Tech (SMIT) Initiative finals of the 4th annual Crab Pot Pitch Contest. Five products were pitched in the finals which ranged from an electric vertical take-off flying car and a convertible rescue boat/bookcase to a river filtration product and a constant-motion knee brace which aids in physical therapy exercises invented by a team of high school students from St. Mary’s County.
“From the beginning stages of business, marketing and cash flow planning, technology commercialization to future production and manufacturing, the SBDC and the Maryland Technology Development Corp. (TEDCO) has assisted RYG Light since last summer,” stated Wynne Briscoe, Small Business Development Center consultant. “Along with pitch deck development and rehearsals, mentoring, confidence building and attending vital business meetings with vendor and stakeholders, we have been with Lowell every step of the way.”
Crab Pot is a uniquely Southern Maryland pitch contest for inventors and entrepreneurs. Made popular by television shows like ABC’s “Shark Tank,” pitch contests provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to present their ideas to a panel of judges or investors in front of an audience. Crab Pot also provides a venue for the community to celebrate the efforts of local entrepreneurs and innovators.
“The room at the Calvert Marine Museum was packed and the competition was very solid,” stated Cade. “I’ve been working on this product for quite some time and have received a lot of support and feedback along the way. I was thrilled to be selected as the Crab Pot winner. It further validates my concept and demonstrates that people understand it and appreciate the need for it.”
Cade was driving home from work in a snowstorm late one evening and noticed a police officer attempting to control traffic in zero visibility conditions. Barely able to see the officer in the roadway, he wondered if there could be a safer way to conduct traffic – and the RYG Light was conceived.
Final improvements are currently being made to the product prior to commencement of full-scale manufacturing. Cade envisions applications for the device in emergency management, public safety, construction, school crosswalk activities and general pedestrian management. He intends to finalize design elements and begin production, in Maryland, within a year. For more information on RYG Light, visit www.ryglight.com.
“SMIT and the various partners who support it have played an active role in Crab Pot over the last 4 years and it is incredible to see how it has grown,” stated Southern Maryland Innovation and Technology coordinator Adam Mawyer. “Events like Crab Pot, which celebrate and promote new ideas and businesses, are essential to our mission to grow the entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in Southern Maryland.”
The Crab Pot Pitch contest is organized and sponsored by PaxSpace, Inc.
About Calvert County Department of Economic Development
The Calvert County Department of Economic Development is committed to attracting and retaining strong, healthy and dynamic companies of all sizes and industries. Staff members act as catalysts to enhance the economy by promoting quality economic development within the parameters set by the Comprehensive Plan to increase the commercial tax base, generate jobs and increase visitors to the county. Learn more at www.ecalvert.com.
The Southern Maryland Innovation & Technology (SMIT) is an initiative to promote and foster the growth of innovative technology businesses in Southern Maryland. Visit our meetup page.
PaxSpace Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, member-operated Makerspace, where people can meet and work on their projects. For more information, visit https://paxspace.org.
The Small Business Development Center provides training and counseling services to new and existing small businesses throughout Southern Maryland. For information on the Southern Region SBDC and its services, visit www.sbdchelp.com.