Duke, University of Virginia and Georgia Tech Win Big at ACC InVenture Prize
Student inventors from Duke University, the University of Virginia and Georgia Tech triumphed at the ACC InVenture Prize, a new competition that celebrates entrepreneurship.
BioMetrix from Duke won first place and $15,000. This team, led by two women, invented a way to keep athletes and sports teams healthier. A wearable sensor adheres to the skin, collects data and uses cloud services to quantify rehabilitation progress and provide real-time feedback to reduce athletic injuries.
Contraline from UVA finished second and earned $10,000. This five-member team is developing a male contraceptive that is long-lasting, non-hormonal and reversible. The non-surgical process is safe, effective and more appealing than condoms or vasectomies, inventors said.
And Georgia Tech’s FireHUD scored $5,000 as winners of the People Choice Award, which went to the fans’ favorite invention. The team invented a device to help keep firefighters safe.
The ACC InVenture Prize, which taps into the startup culture growing on college campuses, was held at Georgia Tech.
Each of the 15 universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference sent a team of students to the competition. The group was narrowed to five finalists that competed during Wednesday’s live finale. The other two teams were from Boston College and the University of North Carolina.
The contest is sponsored by the ACC Academic Consortium, which supports academic initiatives among member universities.
Rafael L. Bras, Georgia Tech’s provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, said leaders were looking to celebrate the strong academics found in all the ACC schools and agreed that the InVenture Prize was a way to accomplish that goal.
The event was modeled after Georgia Tech’s InVenture Prize, which rewards undergraduate students with cash prizes for innovations that aim to solve the world’s big problems.
FireHUD won Georgia Tech’s InVenture Prize last month.
Zack Braun, a computer engineering major, and Tyler Sisk, an electrical engineering major, invented a head-up-display that attaches to a firefighter’s mask and measures heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, body temperature, external temperature and other vital signs. This information will help firefighters know if they are overexerting themselves, which can lead to cardiac arrest.
The device also transmits data to the incident commander, who can view it on a computer through an app.
The team already won $20,000 in the Georgia Tech InVenture Prize. That, along with the $5,000 prize from the ACC contest, will allow them to continue to improve the device, Braun said.
“It felt great representing Georgia Tech,” Sisk said. “It made this win a little bit more special because we were here for Tech.”
Georgia Tech will continue to have a strong presence with the ACC InVenture Prize. The 2017 competition is scheduled to return to campus.
The Atlantic Coast Conference InVenture Prize rewards student entrepreneurs with cash prizes for their innovations. Georgia Tech hosts the competition.