After starting with about 100 teams, our pool of several hundred judges have selected the top teams.
In Round 2, we have advanced
- the top 15 student teams
- 30 honorable mention student teams (who can participate in Round 2 as well)
- the top 10 Open Competition (non-student) teams.
Thanks to our many competitors and judges for participating in Round 1!
For Round 2, the teams are creating Indiegogo campaign videos, a plan and/or pitch deck, and will be judged by the judging pool again.
Come back on January 19th, to see all of the videos and Indiegogo campaigns!
Pending eligibility verification, these teams are all eligible to create Indiegogo campaigns. These teams are all eligible to participate to Demo Day, conditional on their deliverables being completed to a satisfactory level.
BioMetrix - BioMetrix provides a thin, flexible, skin adhered wearable sensor platform for collecting, analyzing motion data to reduce injuries both in training and during rehabilitation.
Bubbl - Location-Based Mobile Messaging App
Flower•Child Hair Remedies - In today’s $79B global hair industry, products are used that cause unknown damage to hair. This damage ranges from causing hair to break off and dry up to disrupting hormones and causing cancer. This is a problem that affects anyone who uses major shampoo and conditioning hair products.
Our solution to this problem is using completely natural materials to make our hair products. All of the ingredients we use to make our products are pure and are actually edible. We have done extensive research on each of our ingredients to ensure that everything we use promotes hair growth, and thicker, better moisturized hair.
This product is especially important in the natural hair community (a $774M industry) because when women transition to no longer chemically straightening their hair they begin to take added precaution into what goes into it. This product allows women to know exactly what is going into their hair and what benefits it will have. We will also have deep conditioner customization feature so women can pick what ingredients they want in their conditioner based on what outcome they're looking for in their hair. This empowers them to not only choose what they’re putting in their hair but gives them the peace of mind to know that it’s so safe it could be eaten.
Our co-founder, Tiana, began making a similar deep conditioner two years ago and has since perfected it to become the product that it is today with the help of friends who were willing to use it and provide feedback.
Friendly Help - Our application would provide secure and private way to be safe on campus. Integrated with the other existent security options on campus it would allow up-to-date safety option. User selects one of the modes of tracking, either campus police or friend option. Then recipient gets position of this person as well as his status. If something happens on the way, user can send instant alarm, with his location pinpointed on the map.
Grow With Nigeria - At the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology summit, which took place in 2010, a linking factor between active participation in STEM and the success of developed countries in different economic sectors was established. The reverse can be surmised about low-income countries and their inactivity in STEM (Ahmed, 2012).
In Nigeria in particular, this problem is quite evident. Informal interviews with past students that have gone through the Nigerian secondary school system, reveal that there is a focus on the ‘cram and regurgitate’ style of learning, with little or no time dedicated to hands-on education. With a majority of secondary schools in underprivileged communities being public or state funded institutions, there is a serious lack of resources, financial or otherwise (Nwachukwu, 2013). As a result, many secondary schools struggle to do anything other than provide students with basic educational training. Career advice and planning are almost non-existent. This combination of theoretical focused learning and inadequate exposure to the more engaging and practical aspects of STEM has resulted in a waning interest in these fields.
Reports indicate that early practical interactions with science and technology play a crucial role in a student’s future career choices (OECD, 2016). With Nigerian students limited to the more tedious task of learning solely by reading, and not given the opportunity to experience the more exciting aspects of STEM, they have developed overwhelmingly negative attitudes towards STEM careers (Obomanu, 2011).
During a focus group conducted during a GWN Field Experience in Nigeria, attended by over 50 Nigerian secondary school students and facilitated by local STEM professionals, the issue was probed further. Some students believed that they were automatically precluded from being able to successfully pursue careers in STEM if they struggled with any math or science subject. Others merely associated the STEM field with a lot more theoretical learning, and went in other directions in search of hands-on experiences. In addition to limiting their opportunity for growth and preventing students from following career paths that allow them to maximize their potential, this also has the snowball effect of limiting their eventual contributions to their respective communities. This cycle has been pervasive in the Nigeria, and it is clear that its effect is wide and far reaching.
Our interactions with students, parents, and educators have led to one conclusion – in order to increase interest in STEM, we need to provide students with resources and exciting real world experiences that enable them get a better grasp of the numerous career options available.
As a nonprofit organization, with significant local and international partners, GWN is well positioned to tackle the issue with the sole focus on creating a sustainable solution to the lack of inadequate practical training and exposure that will elicit interest in different STEM career paths.
HeadMatters - HeadMatters is a web-and-mobile platform that provides four essential tools to family caregivers of the mentally ill with the goal of lessening caregiver burden and improving the care they offer to family members. These tools are the following:
1) A curated resource for obtaining information on best practices and current research in mental health
2) A social network where family caregivers can find advice and support from other caregivers and mental health professionals
3) A secure messaging system for contacting doctors and other mental health professionals (MHP)
4) A resource identification module for finding nearby caregiving resources, e.g. pharmacies, doctors, and support groups
Collectively, we believe these services empower the family caregiver by: 1) improving caregiver education and awareness of mental disorders, 2) enhancing family caregiver-to-family caregiver engagement, 3) improving family caregiver-to-mental health professional engagement, and 4) identifying locally available resources to supplement caregiving duties.
Integrated Teratronics - Terahertz(THz) imaging is one of the hottest emerging technologies in the past 5 years. With the ability to penetrate materials, THz imaging has been gradually replacing harmful radiation imaging systems such as X-ray. Current developments in THz imaging systems have pushed the boundaries in medical imaging, aerospace engineering, transportation security, nondestructive testing, and other fields.
However, terahertz imaging devices have yet been manufactured and utilized in a large scale, resulting in the coined term “terahertz gap”, referring to the technology needed to generate, transport, and detect terahertz waves efficiently. The main challenge of widely utilizing terahertz-imaging technology lies in the size, weight and cost of manufacturing such systems.
Integrated Teratronics offers a fast, cheap, lightweight, compact and yet high quality solution to prototyping and manufacturing THz imaging systems with 3D printing. The components are made from a high-resolution 3D printer with plastic and electroplated with copper, only on the surface that matters to terahertz waves. Thus we can largely reduce the cost and weight of such components while maintaining high quality. Moreover, 3D printing enables optimizing the size and components so that the system can be made compact without increasing complexity to the manufacturing process.
MagoHub - MagoHub, is an app that seeks to ease the difficulties that international students face when they arrive to a new country to complete their education
MedServe - MedServe is a "Teach for America"-type program for healthcare. There are too few primary care physicians, especially in rural and underserved communities. While more non-physician roles have emerged to help meet this problem short-term, communities without enough physicians long-term have been associated with poor health outcomes. Yet, almost 90% of the students becoming doctors each year don’t select primary care. MedServe is our attempt to meet immediate staffing needs in primary care clinics while inspiring tomorrow’s doctors to primary care careers. Our start-up is a non-profit organization which connects recent college graduates to highly successful primary care clinics in underserved communities. Student fellows spend two years under the supervision of a “rock-star” primary care physician, filling ancillary staff positions appropriate to their phase of training. Our organization provides upfront training and ongoing curricular support that helps prepare fellows for their work and for the next step in their professional education.
Pivotal Aero Turbines - Pivotal Aero is a privately held technology company specializing in developing a hybrid wind/solar solution for nano-grid energy generation and individual energy generation. Currently, Pivotal Aero is in the process of developing and prototyping a cutting edge wind turbine/solar skin structure called the M3 Hybrid, which will operate on a nano-grid level with other hybrids. The M3 Hybrid combines a high-efficiency, compound ducted turbine with mounted solar skin and single axis tracking capable of increasing power and energy density while maintaining durability and stability. In comparison to un-ducted, mono-propeller wind extraction technologies, the M3 Hybrid is smaller (10 ft. diameter) and provides external aesthetic qualities compatible with residential settings. Wind and solar, even in the most hospitable climates, are intermittent power sources. The innovative M3 Hybrid design provides secure energy generation by optimizing solar and wind power production based on readily available wireless data and in-house sensors.
Sew.st - Nothing you have ever worn fit you properly. Her bust line pulls, her pants need hemming, she has broad
shoulders, her shirt does not end parallel. His biceps are large, but his stomach is prominent and thighs
thin. The ready to wear fashion industry is so focused on reducing price and increasing the number of
designs, that they lost track of well fitted garments. They use a “standard” size when creating clothes. The
problem is: I am not standard, and neither are you.
You have three options: choose ready to wear garments which are easy to come by, pay for a custom
fitted garment with a hefty price tag, or create your own. Ready to wear is very easy to come by, but will
not fit properly. Often, it is not designed to last more than a season. Custom garments fit the way they
should. They are created using ten times the measurements and require several fittings. But, they also
have a price tag to match. Finally, creating your own clothes gives a better fit at a lower cost, although it
requires a significant time investment and skill to guarantee a good fit.
The ready to wear industry employees designers with years of experience and schooling to create
patterns. Bespoke suits are created custom for each person. Home sewists can draft a pattern, or buy a
commercial one. However, a sewing pattern from a commercial company ranges from $7-$32.50 and still
does not fit perfectly.
In every case, there are several rounds of pattern drafting, sewing, and modifying. Sew.st removes the
cycle. First we find our customer's measurements automatically. We modify the pattern for the perfect fit.
We display the clothes on your custom model, removing surprises and allowing you to adjust to your
heart's desire. Once you are happy, print the pattern out. It will fit perfectly.
Thrift Track - About 77 million Americans have debt in collections. That is 35% of the US population with a median debt of $1,350. Consumers have a hard time keeping track of their expenses and are challenged with the concept of whether they can afford to spend on various items (dining, entertainment, loans, etc). The average consumer is not educated on how to manage their funds and end up overspending on unnecessary items.
Millions of consumers use budgeting applications like Mint or QuickBooks to manage their finances. These applications focus on one’s spend history rather than helping users to actively meet budget goals. Hence with those applications, consumers tend to slip and miss the budgeting goals set. These applications do not provide suggestions on how to allocate your funds based on your personal spending habits rather they provide a general recommendation to all the users. They also require manual entry for how one wants to break down their expenditures. The consumer does not always have the knowledge or expertise. They don’t provide insight on whether one can afford to buy something in real-time. Consumers have different spending habits; understanding each and every users spending habits to provide recommendations is a challenge.
Thrift Track wants to help consumers get out of debt by taking personal finance management to the next level by using artificial intelligence to study one’s spending habits. Through a mobile application, Thrift Track provides an algorithm that automates the budgeting process based on personal spending patterns. It will define areas that one will spend a premium on and other areas that are easier to cut back on. It is one’s very own financial advisor in their wallet. The consumer no longer has to think about what they can and cannot afford and will be provided daily recommendations on how to spend their funds in order to get out of debt and/or remain debt free. Moreover our product will provide daily budget goals and provide recommendation of merchandise at a price point that will help user meets the daily/monthly budget goals.
Tiba Health - By bridging the gap between technological innovations and healthcare systems, Tiba Health commits to improving physical therapy for both the therapist and the patient through a three-way integrated solution. An easy-to-wear device tracks motion in 3-dimensions, while a patient-side mobile application provides feedback to the patient, and an interface integrated with electronic medical records (EMRs) displays this data to the provider. This three-fold solution allows therapists to receive valuable metrics about their patients, while patients receive real-time feedback to improve their therapy experience at home. The mobile application will be integrated with the wearable device and will provide patients with immediate, corrective feedback on their exercise performance. The mobile app will also provide patients an avenue to communicate with their physical therapist regarding their exercise regimen, allowing them to also note pain and discomfort. The therapist can monitor patients’ adherence to their care plan and use the data to modify the exercise regimen based on patient progress. In all, Tiba Health aims to improve the existing therapy framework, providing physical therapists comprehensive data to improve patient care plans, and improving patient outcomes.
Umbra - Fifty percent of the population of the world is female, and women are the most powerful consumers in the world. In the US alone an estimated 70 million women menstruate every month, and yet nobody wants to talk about it. Large numbers of women still have misconceptions and misinformation about how their bodies, and more specifically how their cycles work. When viewed in combination with persistent gender inequality, there is clearly a need for business models and powerful tools that can unite, educate, and honor women for the physiological phenomenon that makes them women.
Umbra is an app that rewards women for menstruating by giving them points for engagement with their cycles throughout each month. Points can be redeemed for products, services, and special offers. Subscribers have access to monthly perks, resources, and a larger community of women. By rewarding each user’s awareness of her own body, transforming a topic that is normally taboo, and facilitating connections among users united by physiology, Umbra empowers women and strengthens women’s voices in a big way. I can’t wait for my next period…said no woman ever. Until now.
Xiaozao - A one-stop career-building platform for college students.
Pending eligibility verification, these teams are all eligible to create Indiegogo campaigns. The top performing teams will be invited to Demo Day based on the combination of Indiegogo results and Round 2 judging.
A Distributed Video Marketplace - A transactional direct-to-consumer marketplace for content creators. Uses web 2.0 tech combined with a mobile emphasis to handle payments and control in a new way.
Agora - Remodeling Design Service - Agora empowers the consumer by offering fast home design services “a la carte” marrying technology and industry expertise. The consumer gets an easy design process, 3D walk-throughs, construction grade drawings, and an independent estimate to then shop for a contractor.
Automated Smoothie Machine - The business that my team and I are developing is centered around automated machines that produce fruit smoothies. These machines have preset smoothie recipes that the user can choose from, or they allow the user to create its own combination of fruit and other ingredients. The machines create the smoothie, serve it in a high quality disposable cup, and properly clean and sanitize the blending equipment before being used again in another smoothie. Because of the automation, there is no need for workers to run the stand, which allows for the smoothies to be sold for slightly more than the cost of ingredients. In addition, these smoothie machines can be placed anywhere with electricity, which opens up numerous opportunities for consumer markets, including high school hallways, office break rooms, nursery homes, libraries, gyms, and many more. With the capability of 24 hours of operation per day, these machines provide a very convenient delicious fruit smoothie snack for much less than the cost of current smoothie shops, and without the hassle of making them at home.
Autora / Creative Writing Platform - Creative writing is a beautiful and creative art form. It's personal. It's thought provoking. It's entertaining. It can also be intimidating, frustrating, and occasionally lonely. Everyone has a story to tell, and many people want to use the written word to tell it. But telling a story from start to finish can be overwhelming.
We wanted something different--a new way to write together--so we created Autora. Autora is a place where we can write as a community. It's a place where people of all skill levels, styles, and interests can play with words and have fun doing it.
Anyone can jump in and create a project. Everyone can contribute to projects, submitting entries a paragraph, sentence, line, or even a word at a time. People vote for their favorite entries and the project builds sequentially over time. Users can write short stories with family across the country, haikus with strangers in coffee shops or while waiting for the bus, song lyrics with their friends at a party, and finally work on that novel together with their colleagues.
When users don’t feel like writing or want some inspiration, they can read over recently completed projects and current works in progress, voting for their favorite entries.
With Autora at their fingertips, users can enter a new world of creative writing. No pressure, no isolation, no writer's block. Just people sharing their creative minds on a platform that thrives on it.
Brainbuild - Brainbuild is an athletic performance company that helps athletes improve their competition-day routines and recreate the high-performance habits they need to achieve more consistent competitive success.
dT A Technology Company - Thermodynamics dictate that temperature flows from hot to cold until equilibrium is reached. However, there is a large market for products which move heat in the opposite direction globally, especially for areas with limited availability of electricity. We are working to develop a product base around solar-powered thermoelectric coolers that can be used in consumer products as well as larger-scale cooling / heating applications for the trucking industry. Our technology will use low-cost materials to allow easy scaling and cost-effective, customized solutions.
FitConnect - If you want to take a pilates or boot camp class, the options today are limited to signing up for a gym or studio, paying their expensive fees, and going to the classes they offer on their schedule. When every other service is becoming on-demand and direct to consumers, our workout options are still dictated by the local gyms and studios. Why is it still this way when we have so many certified instructors in our local communities?
We want to solve this issue and believe it will be a win for fitness instructors as well. Our solution is a platform to directly connect freelance instructors with clientele and venues so that users can find a variety of workout options, at a lower cost, during the times that work for them. Simultaneously, instructors will be able to teach when they want, where they want, while making supplemental income. By combining the users and fitness instructors who would like an easier way to connect, we believe there are over 10 million potential people we could impact.
Genie - Wouldn’t it be great if we could be at the right place at the right time all the time? We live in a society where we are constantly surrounded by intellectual capital, yet we lack an ability to tap into this powerful network simply because we are unaware of who to ask for help. This is a problem that every college student has faced at one time or another. The app Genie is a platform that connects people in physical proximity based on how we can help each other. Genie bridges the gap between the demand of the user and the supply of intellectual and material capital in their immediate vicinity, while promoting peer-to-peer interactions with accountability. By using the platform to broadcast the demand or supply of a specific capital, users leverage their existing resources to generate mutual profit. The user can find the “right place at the right time” through Genie.
GoGlam - GoGlam will be a mobile application for Latin America that connects talented freelance beauty service providers with working professional women (educated, beauty conscious, tech-savvy and time poor) that want their beauty services to be delivered at their home or office.
Gritcube - Zambia is a country in Africa with one of the highest rates of early-stage entrepreneurial activity. While 41% of working-age adults are involved with startups in Zambia, only 4% of adults are owners of established businesses (GEM 2013). Lack of financial access is a major barrier to business survival and expansion. A problem identified that still persists is lack of capacity, business development support, and access to global connections and markets.
Gritcube is a new accelerator for startups in Zambia that takes advantage of the power of global connection. We are part incubator, part professional volunteer matching system. We first identify high-achieving young Zambian entrepreneurs with ideas for businesses that have the potential to expand, employ others, and even reach international markets. We then connect each entrepreneur with a consultant based in the U.S. who will provide volunteer professional support to the entrepreneur for 8 months. Our consultants will prepare the entrepreneurs to become “investor-ready”, and help connect the entrepreneur to potential networks and resources.
With the ambition to expand our model to other nations in Africa, our vision is to create an entrepreneurial Africa with vibrant and resilient businesses that will create employment and stimulate economic growth.
Healthy Intuition - By creating a one-stop-shop mobile health platform, Healthy Intuition seeks to bridge traditional and technological medicine by enabling physicians to empower patients to manage their own health effectively.
The current trend in healthcare is moving towards digitalized medical capabilities such as electronic medical records, e-prescriptions, and telemedicine. This process has become incredibly daunting for physicians who chiefly complain that digitalization and legalities have forced doctors to stop practicing medicine and take on a desk job instead.
On the other side of the healthcare spectrum, patients are getting the short end of the stick. They have multiple aspects of healthcare to take care of and worry about, all while having enough education and awareness to make proactive decisions regarding overall health before it becomes an issue. Although there are over 100,000 mobile health apps in the United States, only a handful of them are significantly utilized. This clutter of highly specialized apps overwhelms patients and only further mystifies patients on who/where they should be reaching out to for help.
Our goal is to demystify the transition from traditional medicine to technologically supplemented healthcare by creating a mobile health app that will consolidate functions through application systems on both the doctor and patient sides to effectively coordinate everyday health and healthcare, improve efficiency in the overall system, strengthen patient-doctor relations, and provide clearer awareness and education on the side of patients. This platform will focus on the two sides of this relationship and work to create a holistic smart system to aptly manage multiple aspects of healthcare in a curated fashion.
Hospital Education Platform - Time doesn’t stop for children with medical needs. The thousands of children, receiving extensive treatment for their various medical problems, will spend weeks to months in hospitals and homecare. When children with cancer receive chemotherapy treatment for weeks - they don’t get those weeks back. And when children receive organ transplants and spend months in recovery - they are left with more than just a scar from the incision. While these children fight for total recovery, they are separated from their educational system. No teachers, no school work, no classmates; no mentorship, no intellectual growth, and very little social interaction with peers their age. This disconnection leaves the student feeling alone and ultimately prolongs their recovery process while also impeding their ability to transition back into normal life.
This disconnection has been identified by hospitals worldwide which led to the generation of hospital school programs. These programs provide students with advocates that reach out to their guidance counselors at their ‘home-schools’ in order to retrieve school work and instruction. These ‘hospital-educators’ have to utilize a variety of methods to attain directions and documentation - some ‘home-teachers’ will call and send mail to the hospital-educators while others will use email. Some don’t ever respond at all. Why is it so hard for these children to receive their school materials? Haven’t these students gone through enough? How can we help this vulnerable population get the education they need easily so they can feel comfortable transitioning back into normal life.
This is why DojoEd was conceptualized on October 7th, 2015. DojoEd provides hospital-educators the tools and power to communicate efficiently and effectively with home-teachers and guidance counselors. DojoEd is a web-based platform that provides logins for hospital-educators, home-teachers, and patient-students. With a DojoEd account, hospital-educators are able to make contact with home-teachers to solicit school work and instructions. Home-teachers are able to upload documents and feedback. Patient-students are able to review course materials, submit documents, take quizzes, upload completed assignments, and see their progress. With this platform, we will be able to facilitate the connection of these three parties and keep these student-patients up to date as much as possible. This will allow them to make a quick and easy transition back into normal life allowing their treatment to just be detour instead of a roadblock in their life.
Iceberg - The fundamental problem that we are trying to solve is finding a way to keep beverages, particularly beer, cold for the duration of the time they are being consumed.
Obviously, adding ice to beer is not the solution as it would dilute the beer and it would lead to some strange looks, which currently leads to the consumption of many unpleasant warm beers. Some whiskey stones are effective at keeping 2 oz. spirits cool, but simply have a negligible effect on a 12 oz. beer.
Before our product, there has never been a way to cool your beer as you drink it. In fact before Iceberg, the coldest your beer will ever be is the moment you pull it from the refrigerator or cooler. Iceberg has changed the way we will drink beer by allowing college students and beer drinkers across the country to enjoy a last sip that is even colder than their first.
We believe this problem is not unique to Duke students, but rather is experienced by many other college students and beer drinkers across the country.
Increasing accessibility of STEM - The United States is currently facing a shortage of engineers. This shortage has an impact on every person living within the United States as engineers help “spur economic growth and job creation through innovation
Other Products & Services
Location: and to address other important national and societal needs”. However, this shortage doesn’t begin in college when students choose their majors. The shortage begins in middle school as children begin self-selecting out of careers. Many children are not exposed to STEM during this critical stage of childhood as a result of parents’ disinterest/lack of awareness of STEM as well as the lofty price of STEM-related products.
To address the labor shortage of engineers, we must ensure that children are exposed to STEM earlier to increase the likelihood of them choosing a STEM career. TEAM STEM seeks to address this lack of exposure to STEM through educational toys that introduce basic engineering concepts to children through play. Our educational toys are designed to increase a child’s understanding of basic engineering concepts (such as circuitry), improve parent-child engagement through play, foster creativity using STEM concepts, and increase awareness of STEM.
MatatuX - MATATUx was founded in 2015 to improve road safety throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Our company offers a simple mobile application that empowers bus riders everywhere to make informed decisions about their transportation options by providing two critical services. First, MATATUx provides a centralized space for riders to purchase tickets using mobile money. Second, the application creates safety ratings for national and international bus companies by allowing riders to rate their journey and report dangerous situations to authorities in realtime. Putting the two services together, MatatuX is a business that will save lives and turn a profit.
Mentormee - Social Enterprise providing a free exclusive online service connecting high school students with university & college students to foster a mentorship opportunity.
Alex Zhou, Pratt - MEMP, 2015, email@example.com
Location: Durham, NC
Track: Social Enterprises
Mi Propia Granja - Provide low income people with the opportunity of owning a business without having to go all the way with the complexities associated with developing and fully owning it. We want to make business “with them” and not “from them”.
Microspheres/Microfluidics - Silicone microspheres are widely used in the production of consumable products ranging from paints and inks to cosmetic creams and lotions. Current production methods for silicone microspheres are either highly expensive or offer poor control over the properties of the particles. Our technology enables a highly scalable approach for the production of silicone microspheres at low cost while still offering fine control over their properties. The current global market for microspheres is estimated at $2.4 B, which encompasses their use in composites, medical diagnostics, personal care formulations, and life sciences. Silicone microparticles in particular have many advantages over existing polymers; they are elastic, temperature-resistant, stable, and can be programmed to display a range of properties. However, silicone microparticles have not been widely adopted as other types of microparticles because of cost or poor quality production methods. Our strategy is to explore applications in which our technology will make the greatest impact, starting with the cosmetics industry, then expanding into existing medical diagnostics fields to disrupt older, more outdated polymer microspheres.
Neurun - The world is full of runners, many of whom compete at a high level. Currently, runners train only for the physical component of racing. We have developed an immersive platform for runners to train the mental component of racing. All a customer would need to do is download an app on his phone and use a light wearable device. He could then simulate his race at the pace he intends to travel and at the exact same course he will be running. We believe this has the potential to supplement and therefore transform the way runners train.
OutofTowner - OutofTowner is designed to connect out-of-town professional travelers with others looking to experience a new city. For example, individuals traveling for work can instantly meet up with other individuals and try a local restaurant.
The application will focus on geo-targeted activities for professional travelers who want to enhance their experience while in a city, but also expand their professional networks in the process. After work, travelers can log into the application, identify an activity in which they would like to participate or a restaurant they want to attend, and meet other business travelers in the process. This provides a great alternative to sitting in a hotel room alone waiting for the next work day to start. Now, business travelers can go out, enjoy local activities and cuisine, and expand their networks at the same time.
Parking Matrix - Building a smarter city is one of our biggest challenges in the 21st century. There are hundreds of pedestrian-automobile and bike-automobile accidents each year in most major American cities. Automobile emissions continue to have big environmental and health impacts. We can move one step towards reducing these problems and building a smarter city by reducing the amount of time vehicles are on the road. To do this, we propose a unique solution. Our solution aims to solve the problem of parking availability at any scale; large cities and small communities alike. We are looking to develop and deploy mesh-networked, power-efficient sensors on parking spaces located on streets, in parking garages, and in general lots. These sensors would drive a software suite that would provide real-time space availability data to subscribers. We are exploring derivative uses for the data in the areas of traffic optimization and general parking space management and enforcement. With our network installed in every city parking spot, we will be one step closer to ending the vehicular accident and environmental pollution problems of this century.
partiO - With the rise of mobile applications, novel solutions to old problems are emerging. One such problem in society today is the inefficient use of durable goods. In fact, it’s far too common for consumers to buy items only to use them a few times a year. The result is a lot of economic waste and an excess of underutilized assets.
PartiO aims to tackle these issues by connecting people to underutilized assets owned by others. These connections form the basis for an intuitive marketplace allowing those who need products to rent from individuals who would otherwise have idle goods. Through this model, PartiO allows renters to realize the full value of their “stuff” and facilitates rentees to get access to goods quickly and economically.
In order to do this, PartiO has fully built an easy-to-use, all-in-one platform for our users. Goods are easily added to the system through a use of an automated visual recognition systems and linking payment methods is quick and easy, with a variety of common services, like Venmo, integrated. Reliability and quality of experiences are a foremost concern - our platform ensures the security of transactions by arranging insurance programs for goods exchanged and integrating fraud prevention methods into payments. Further, the platform makes it easy to coordinate safe and convenient meet-ups through the use of positioning technology, an intuitive maps interface, and chat/VOIP calling for communication. And while the goal is to eventually expand to the general public, we will initially focus on the college vertical because of the higher-than-average trust within this group. This will allow us to build our brand name and resolve any bugs we might face before committing to a full-scale launch.
Peachy Labs - At Peachy Labs we are developing a food recognition engine, specifically for plated, not packaged foods. It’s an artificial intelligence system that can analyze images of food as well as attributes (cuisine, flavor, profile, dish name, etc); think Shazaam for food. We envision powering diet tracking apps and other health, fitness and lifestyle solutions.
We’re trying to take the pain out of logging meals in diet tracking. Currently the only way to track your meals is to type each and every item you eat. We allow you to take a picture, fast and discreetly. 1 picture is able to segment and discern each item on your plate. Users can quickly collect information about their eating habits – how much protein they ate, what % of their diet is made up of carbs, how many servings of fruits or vegetables they ate, etc.
Our minimum viable product is currently able to take a picture of a plate of food and identify what category it falls into: protein, fruit, vegetable, sweets, carbs, or water. We can also recognize 120 foods by name (apple, orange, etc). In the near future we are planning to scale that to 10,000 foods (pizza, grilled salmon, couscous, etc). We also plan to provide caloric estimates.
SocialPlates - Think of John Smith, a marketing professional from Austin, Texas who joined his new company in Raleigh. He’s new to the city and hasn’t met many people. His work keeps him busy and away from opportunities to socialize. Yes, he wants to meet new people but is not sure where and whom to hangout with.”
The problem we are trying to solve, originates from one of the most basic needs we humans have, the need to connect, the need to meet and interact with new people and to make new friends. In our modern day lives, although the social part seems to have increased with the advent of facebook, twitter and other social platforms, the need to interact in real life still remains unmet. We still yearn to make real friends, and to hangout with them, to really know people by interacting with humans and not machines, which is why our goal is to bring back the “Real Social” into people’s lives.
The Food social has its vision to help people create their own social circles outside the realm of the internet. We want to help people branch out and make friends in real life and we want to start with our mission through food. We all love food, that’s one of the simplest things in our lives that technology hasn’t changed and probably never will. It is one thing that instantly connects people from different parts of the world. We’re trying help people meet each other and bond over food. According to NPD a leading global information company, in 2014, 27% households in America consisted of just one person, which also happens to be the highest in history according to US Census Bureau.The same survey shows that 55% of Americans eat lunch alone and 34% have dinner alone. The problem we’re solving is not unique to US, and is a problem that is growing across the world in many countries. We want to help people find and make real friends over a simple but effective commonality - food.
Track-it Sports - Trackit Sport are a comprehensive solution to the financial problems faced by Division 1 Student-Athletes
Triosk - We plan to develop an application that can be used by patients to triage their symptom prior to their visit to the doctor. The app will not only organize and print out the tracked symptoms in a credible format for medical providers but link to the EMR as well.
Ungraded Produce - In the United States, forty percent of all produced food goes uneaten. A number of practices contribute to this statistic. First, supermarkets have aesthetic standards for the produce that they purchase, so fruit and vegetables that do not conform to these criteria seldom get harvested, regardless of their nutritional content. Additionally, commercial retailers discard food in bulk as it approaches the sell-by date. These wasteful practices have significant environmental impact. When food rots in landfills, it expels methane, a greenhouse gas twenty three times more potent than carbon dioxide. The concurrence of food waste and hunger adds another layer of complexity to the issue; as farmers discard crops in bulk, 48.1 million Americans live in food insecure households.
The environmental and social impact of food loss raises a question: can we provide alternatives to compensate for an industrial system that generates waste to protect profit margins? To tackle this issue locally, we propose starting Ungraded Produce LLC, a produce delivery service serving the greater Durham, NC area. Ungraded will feature an unconventional product portfolio—in line with our stance against waste, we will source produce from farmers that does not meet the appearance standards to sell in commercial markets, colloquially known as “ugly produce.” Customers will purchase a subscription online for a weekly basket of produce, delivered to their doorstep. We will price our produce 30% lower than grocery store comparables.
As a Durham based venture, Ungraded will also address local food insecurity. When purchasing a subscription, customers will have the option to pledge a recurring amount to provide a food insecure family with free baskets of produce. In Durham County alone, 52,000 out of 270,000 people are food insecure, and we want to play a role in reducing this alarming statistic.
Ultimately, our model addresses core issues in the industrial food system. First, it provides farmers with a monetary incentive to divert their oddly shaped produce towards value adding activities. Additionally, it addresses two main barriers to supermarkets in food insecure communities: cost and the need for transportation. At Ungraded, we value more than traditional measures of profitability, and want to consider social and environmental impact.
Vest - Social Investing - Vest is a social online community that makes investing easy and accessible for everyone.We are revolutionizing the finance industry by building a place where anyone, regardless of income, expendable cash, or financial knowledge and experience, can build safe and profitable investment portfolios with the help of professional account managers. Our goal is to make smart investing affordable for everyone while also bringing the long overdue aspect of fun to the securities world.
WashingWallet - 1087 million international tourists arrive at their destination every year. Most of their luggage are carrying clothes, simply because they do not have easy access to washing machines or wish not to spend money at laundry shops just for a few easy washing clothes. Yet 1087 million doesn’t even include the vast majority of travelers, domestic travelers. Breaking the zero market saturation rate, WashingWallet offers a portable, ultra-effective, energy-saving, yet wallet-sized washing machine that could be carried and used anywhere, to all travelers.
Using the ultrasonic cleaning technology, WashingWallet could effectively clean up three shirts within 20 minutes. Yet different from current ultrasonic cleaning machines, WashingWallet doesn’t use containers at all, and that’s why it owns the size of a half wallet. Instead, WashingWallet uses any bathroom sinks, basins, or even waterproof plastic bags that travelers could easily access in hotel rooms, or during expedition trips! In addition, WashingWallet is the only device in this world capable of changing ultrasonic patterns in according to the fabrics of clothes. This optimization is enabled by the Bluetooth module installed inside, which could adjust ultrasonic waves by travelers clicking on the types of fabrics on their cell-phones. However, the Bluetooth module offers way more than that. The Bluetooth also controls a heating module that could heat up water for three modes: “delicate”, “normal”, and “hot”, allowing for best cleaning quality.
The maximum estimate cost for each WashingWallet is 100 dollars. That might seem like a lot, but keep in mind that 100 dollars is far below the amount that a frequent traveler would pay to laundry shops annually. In addition, WashingWallet could serve as the alternative washing machine for households: when there are only a few shirts needed to be cleaned, they don’t have to use an 800-Watt noisy giant machine. In low income areas, for example, Africa where water is undersupplied and traditional washers is unaffordable, WashingWallet will be an ideal solution for these households because it’s efficient, cheaper, more energy conservative. We believe that WashingWallet is not only the ideal solution for millions of travelers, but also for low incomers incapable of owning traditional washers.
Addis Ideas - Our web-based mobile application allows African nationals and the African diaspora to create and crowdsource their own development solutions. Users submit their project ideas into a live feed, where they instantly receive feedback from other users, and generate public support and private sponsorship for their innovation. Users are linked not only to others in their communities but also to "Verified Sponsors", which represent key NGOs, government institutions, bilateral donors, and private firms. Addis Ideas will ultimately promote civic engagement and public participation with the expressed purpose of solving local issues.
Bystander Alert - Bystander Alert “shouts for help” to those nearby in common medical emergencies. It acts as a checksafe for the emergency response system in times of need. It is intended for those with common medical pathologies (diabetes and severe allergies), who may not be carrying their life-saving medication (insulin, sugar, or epinephrine), but may be nearby others who are. It is most useful in the following situations:
A person has a severe allergic reaction, and needs an Epi-Pen.
A person stops breathing, and needs CPR.
A person with diabetes has low blood sugar, and needs a snack.
A person with diabetes has high blood sugar, and needs insulin.
A person has suffered a severe medical trauma, and needs a trained medical professional.
Bystander Alert results in a faster response time than would the arrival of an ambulance, especially in densely populated areas. Typically, first responders take 12-15 minutes to arrive at the scene of an emergency, but in densely populated areas such as Los Angeles, response times can take up to 30 minutes. This difference is of the upmost importance because permanent brain damage sets in only 5 minutes after a person stops breathing, and many of the above emergencies can result in permanent illness or death in this amount of time. While densely populated areas generally have longer emergency response times due to traffic, there are also more bystanders nearby who can help.
Catlilli Games - Catlilli Games, LLC creates educational science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) games targeted for children in grades PK-12. Co-founded by a scientist and an engineer who transitioned to careers in education, we offer STEM games from a variety of fields in both tabletop and digital formats. Our goal is to teach children complex STEM topics in a fun, engaging manner.
Fronanas - Fronanas is a healthy “ice cream” made entirely of organic, free-trade bananas.
~Smartbridge Group - SmartBridge is an online platform that connects enterprises with top health and life science experts on a freelance basis for project-based work. All prospective freelance professionals are vetted to ensure valid credentials and deep healthcare expertise. We will reject talent who do not match our stringent requirements.
We manage the back-end processes (e.g., contracts, payments, protection from liability and conflicts of interest). Our proprietary algorithm matches clients with the ideal individuals and teams, based on reviews of completed projects, subject matter expertise, affiliated institutions, etc. We free our clients from the often arduous tasks of recruiting, verifying, and coordinating payment for freelance work.
Tom & Jenny's Candy - Tom & Jenny's makes delicious candy healthy without sacrificing any of the taste. We were founded by a dentist with a sweet-tooth who wanted to give patients and her own family candies that are sugar-free, but all-natural, with important benefits for teeth.
Our mouth-watering caramels taste so good they have beaten several sugar caramels in blind taste tests. Rather than sugar, they use a natural plant-based sweetener that reduces both the bacteria that cause cavities and acidity that harms teeth. In addition, they're lower glycemic index and have fewer calories than sugar candies.
Tom & Jenny's Candy sells candies directly to consumers online, through specialty and natural food retailers, and to health care providers interested in providing healthy products to their patients.
Trek Connect - TrekConnect allows travelers to visit any country in the world and to experience under the advice of a local (“Ambassador”). We do this by connecting each traveler to an Ambassador who has similar interests, and can provide custom and specific recommendations in their hometown.
Zombait - Zombait is the world's first robotic lure that is placed inside dead bait to attract large fresh and saltwater trophy fish.