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2018 FastPitch Competition Draws Nearly 40 Participants

Dental Hygienist wins with Innovative New Toothbrush

Rockford, Ill. —The 12th annual FastPitch Competition was a colossal success with 38 eager presenters sharing their ideas, products, services, and apps vying for over $7,500 dollars in prizes and presenting, possibly, the Next Big Thing!

Rachel Lolling took home the $5,000 first prize for her FitsBrush product. With 20 years of experience in the dental field, she is on a mission to ensure that people are brushing correctly and practicing proper oral hygiene. When she’s not working at her fulltime position in the Rockford Public Schools system, she’s in one of the nine local stores which carry her toothbrush, educating people on different products, proper brushing & flossing techniques, disease awareness, and answering any questions people may have on dental treatment and procedures. FitsBrush is currently sold to dental offices, online, in nine local stores, and can also be used as a fundraiser for schools, clubs, and organizations to promote good oral hygiene. Visit for more information

Annie Mohaupt took second place with Mohop, an on-demand, custom footwear designer and maker. Mohop combines cutting-edge digital fabrication with traditional artisanal techniques to make beautiful, comfortable shoes that reflect your style. Good news for the region: the Mohaputs have just purchased a 10,000 square foot building in Rockford to manufacture Mohop products! Visit for more information.

AnnDee Nimmer took third place with her product, RoomTagz. RoomTagz visually enhances schools throughout the nation and Canada, assisting visitors, parents and first responders to easily navigate school hallways. As a former teacher, she understands the importance of signage that is easily changed to assist with employee updates and creates a welcoming and safe environment. Visit for more information.

The 2017 FastPitch Competition winner, Dr. Trevor Gibbs of Naperville, gave the event’s keynote address. His product, Anestand, which provides a space for anesthesiologists’ tools in the operating room, was created with the assistance of NIU EIGERlab’s Center for Product Development. He is set to get his product into the marketplace this year. He delivered a thought-provoking keynote speech injected with humor and shared his enthusiasm from being energized by all of the talented, passion-filled presenters at Rockford’s version of “Shark Tank.”

Entrepreneur Addie Ford took home the Dale Falconer Spirit of Entrepreneurship award including a six-month complimentary coworking membership at NIU EIGERlab’s LaunchPad! coworking space at NIU-Rockford with her distillery, the Grant View Distillery. Grant View Distillery is set on 22 acres complete with a craft size vineyard and orchard, and it’s the first distillery in this area since prohibition. They plan to open Grant View, which includes a tasting room, in 2019.

Click here for the complete list of presenters and their products.

For more information on the FastPitch Competition, visit the NIU EIGERlab website at fastpitch. For additional information, call Sherry Pritz Enderle at (815) 753-2192.

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