2009 Contestants

Bridgespan Capital - presented by Will Hicks.

Bridgespan Capital is a private investment firm headquartered in Portland, Oregon. We provide private capital for real estate secured projects located primarily in the Pacific Northwest. We often fund those real estate loans that don’t meet the standard bank matrix and/or require quick closings. In some cases, our funds are used as bridge loans until certain milestones are met which then allows a borrower to refinance with a more conventional lender. Our loans are primarily short term and can be as brief as three months or as long as one year. Most loans range in size form $125,000 to $2,000,000 and require interest only payments with no prepayment penalty. The fact that we are a private lender with experienced underwriters allows us to offer quick approvals and closings. We are fast and flexible and our creative and skilled team are experts at innovative financing structures that can help you achieve your business goals. (source:

Tilting Motor Works - presented by Bob Mighell

Tilting Motor Works began with the idea of creating a faster, safer and more stable motorcycle.  I wanted to design and build a vehicle that would outperform both motorcycles and cars.  The known drawback to motorcycles is that if the front tire loses traction the bike will go down.  With two wheels up front, you have greatly increased your front end traction.  You have also greatly increased the braking power and cornering capability.  I also wanted to lower the center of gravity of the vehicle as compared to a motorcycle by dropping the rider down and behind the engine.  I have also moved the gas tank beneath the seat which is being done on some current model high performance bikes.  Lowering the center of gravity allows quicker flicking between corners and increases stability.  The one thing about cornering in performance cars such as my Porsche 911 is that the driver is always thrown toward the outside of the corner.  I much prefer the cornering feeling of a motorcycle where you are being pushed down into your seat as you go into a corner hard. The concept of a tilting three wheeler has been around for many years and several attempts have been made to produce such vehicles but none have appeared to have been too successful.   My first decision was whether to go with two wheels in front or with two wheels in the rear.  Having two wheels in the rear does nothing to improve the stability of the vehicle and despite the current market of three wheeled Gold Wings, no one advertises them as performance vehicles.  The stability is so poor with the one forward wheel and two rear wheel design that major motorcycle manufactures stopped production of the three wheeled ATV in 1987 after a lawsuit by the United States Justice Department alleged that the manufacturers were in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act.  My decision to go with two wheels up front was fairly easy.  The next decision was to decide how many wheels I wanted to have tilt.  I decided to go with all wheels tilting to obtain the maximum benefit of the tilting concept.The final decision was how to control of the vehicle.  I wanted to keep the design as simple as possible to keep production costs down and reduce any system complexity.  There were two options for the leaning.  One is to have the vehicle free lean such as a motorcycle or a forced lean system which uses hydraulics or servos.  There have been designs such as the Mercedes Benz LifeJet concept that used a forced system that leans the vehicle as you turn the steering wheel but limited the lean to 30 degrees whereas an ideal would be up to 45 degrees.  The advantage of the forced lean system is that the steering input would be similar to an automobiles where you turn to the right to go right.  The free leaning system would steer like a motorcycle or a bicycle which uses countersteering.  I decided to go with a free leaning control system to more simulate a motorcycle's handling characteristics and is far simpler in design.  Some may argue that it is more difficult to handle but I would counter that I was able to teach my 5 year old son to ride a bicycle without having to explain handling dynamics.  Actually, I have come to realize that very few people actually understand how a motorcycle handles and yet that doesn't stop them from safely riding them.  People intuitively lean into corners.  Just look at someone running in a circle and observe what they do.The first prototype was built out of Lego in the summer of 2002. (source:

Emblematic - presented by Cameron Turner and Dave Maren

To enable success for organizations devoted to bringing about a more equal, stable, sustainable world. We aim to better equip socially minded organizations seeking to unite people against the most pressing global issues: education, poverty, disease, humanitarian disaster, threats to biodiversity and environmental degradation. (source:
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