2015-2016‎ > ‎

Round 3

Congratulations to our Round II winners! The following teams will be headed to our Duke Startup Challenge Summer Program and then the Grand Finale in Fall 2016: 

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.

             Ivonna Dumanyan, Pratt, 2016, ind3@duke.edu

             Gabby Levac, Trinity, 2014, gabby@biometrixtech.com

             Jason Oettinger, Pratt, 2015, Jason.oettinger@biometrixtech.com

             Ben Weickmann, brian.weickmann@gmail.com 

             Ron Levac, Ron.levac@biometrixtech.com

             Shylesh Kurvath, shylesh@biometrixtech.com

             Tony Gillespie,Tony.gillespie@biometrixtech.com

             Kathy Levac, Kathy.levac@gmail.com

             Location: Durham, NC

Track: Healthcare & Life Sciences


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. 

             Teminioluwa Ajayi, Duke University School of Medicine, 2018, teminioluwa.ajayi@duke.edu

             Olayode Babatunde, Duke University School of Medicine, 2018, olayode.babatunde@duke.edu

             Kerry Omughelli,, Gulfstate Engineering, kerryomughelli@gmail.com

             Nduka Nwankwo, Wells Fargo Securities, nwankwonduka@gmail.com

             Tobi Lapite, Black & Veatch, toblapish@gmail.com

             Tolani Ayo-Vaughn, tolaniav@gmail.com

             Ayobami Olubeko, ayobeko@gmail.com

             Location: Durham, NC

Track: Social Enterprises


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.

             Judy Zhu, Pratt, Class of 2017, dz56@duke.edu

             Jeainny Kim, Trinity, Class of 2018, sk380@duke.edu

             Aditya Srinivasan, Trinity, Class of 2018, aditya.srinivasan@duke.edu

             Chelsea Liu, Trinity, Class of 2018, chelsea.liu@duke.edu

             Monique de Ritter, Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Class of 2016, moniquederitter@gmail.com

             Location: Durham, NC

             Track: Internet, IT & Media


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.

             Paola Mego,  Fuqua School of Business, 2015, paola.mego@duke.edu

             Camila Mendoza, Fuqua School of Business, 2015, camila.mendoza@duke.edu

             Luis Mego, University of Southern California, 2014, lmego1602@me.com

             Roberto Sato, Universidad de Lima,2012,rsato90@gmail.com

             Location: Lima, 

Track: Internet, IT & Media


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.

             Ruoyu Zhu, Pratt, Ph.D. student, 2017, ruoyu.zhu@duke.edu

             Daniel L. Marks, Ph.D., Pratt research associate professor, daniel.marks@duke.edu

             Location: Durham, NC

Track: Other Products & Services

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.
  • Anne Steptoe, Fuqua School of Business 2016, anne.steptoe@duke.edu
  • Patrick O'Shea, Fuqua School of Business 2017, patrick.o.shea@duke.edu
  • Laura Guidera, Trinity 2018, laura.guidera@duke.edu
  • Location: Durham, NC
Track: Social Enterprises


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.

             Cameron Valadez, Pratt, 2017, cameron@tibahealthcare.com

             Tannya Cai, Trinity, 2017, tannya@tibahealthcare.com

             Dhruv Patel, Pratt, 2019, dhruv@tibahealthcare.com

             Sean Chang, Department of Statistics, 2015, sean@tibahealthcare.com

             Meghana Shamsunder, UNC, 2016, meghana@tibahealthcare.com

             Mihir Pershad, UNC, 2016, mihir@tibahealthcare.com

             Location: Durham, NC

Track: Healthcare & Life Sciences

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.
  • Madelyn Hjertmann, Fuqua School of Business, 2016, Madelyn.Hjertmann@duke.edu, 
  • Carolyn Hardy, Fuqua School of Business, 2016, Carolyn.Hardy@duke.edu, 
  • Whitney Michiels, Fuqua School of Business, 2016, Whitney.Michiels@duke.edu, 
  • Monica George, Director of Operations at CircEsteem Inc., Monica.Nicole.George@gmail.com
  • Location: Banner Elk, NC
Track: Internet, IT & Media