Junior swimmer Felipe Gomez del Campo (Weston, Fla./Cypress Bay) may have recently completed his third competitive season in the Veale Natatorium pool, but was chosen from the pool of 100 entrepreneurial candidates to visit The White House and meet President Barack Obama.
Gomez del Campo was chosen as one of five candidates selected by The White House to be a part of a panel with Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran and Daymond John from the hit television series Shark Tank.
"I was invited to an even celebrating entrepreneurship around the world as a way to kick off the President's new global initiatives on entrepreneurship," said Gomez del Campo.
As the youngest selection for the panel and a minority, Gomez del Campo was in the right place at the right time as he has been working on a clean tech/environmental product.
The panel started with interviews by the Department of State where Gomez del Campo took part in an interview with WSVN, his local television network in Florida.
"The interviews were conducted on The White House lawn overlooking the mansion," Gomez del Campo said. "It was an incredible feeling to be interviewed in the same spot that you see anchors from CNN speaking."
Following the interviews Gomez del Campo enjoyed lunch in the Vice President's Ceremonial office with the Sharks and Vice President Joe Biden where the group discussed issues mainly relating to entrepreneurship with a global focus. Biden even gave the group a tour of his office.
Gomez del Campo then had the opportunity to pitch his company to the Sharks in front of a live audience followed by a five minute question and answer session where the Sharks provided their advice.
After the panel, Gomez del Campo was taken backstage where he had the opportunity to meet President Obama.
"It was an absolutely unforgettable experience," Gomez del Campo said. "He was very down-to-earth and chatted with each of us about our companies and home towns as well as the value of entrepreneurship and how having an idea and working to make it a reality is the purest example of the American dream."
Gomez del Campo and his company FGC Plasma Solutions, has been working on a revolutionary fuel injector for jet engines and turbines for the power generation industry.
"The patent pending GALDI fuel injector uses plasma to increase operability and decrease fuel consumption in a package which is easily integrated with current jet engine architecture through a retrofit or factory installation," Gomez del Campo explained.
The net effect has the potential of up to a 10% decrease in fuel consumption and a 25% decrease in harmful Nox emissions as validated by bench scale lab tests held on campus at Case Western Reserve University.
"These represent extremely significant savings and decreases emissions for both airlines and operators of industrial gas turbines," Gomez del Campo said.
Since it's start, FGC Plasma Solutions has raised over $130,000 in funding which includes a recent grant from the Department of Energy and is working on further testing of the technology with NASA Glenn research center in Cleveland.
Between running a company and visiting the white house, Gomez del Campo has made the time to be a member of the men's swimming and diving team.Gomez del Campo has intentions of bringing the product to market through a joint venture with an engine manufacturer.
"Being on the CWRU swimming and diving team means that I am able to train at a high level while pursuing my goals outside of the pool as well," Gomez del Campo said. "It means being part of a family of hard working athletes that push me to be my best in and out of the pool."