Georgia Tech Hosts Inaugural ACC InVenture Prize
Duke, UVA, Georgia Tech Big Winners in First ACC InVenture Prize Competition
Georgia Tech strives to inspire an innovative spirit and entrepreneurial confidence throughout its campus and curriculum. We celebrate those qualities with several competitions each year, including the Georgia Tech InVenture Prize, which has affectionately been called “American Idol for Geeks.” Created in 2009 by Georgia Tech faculty as an interdisciplinary innovation competition open to all of our undergraduate students and recent graduates, it has grown into the largest competition of its kind in the country.
With our InVenture Prize as a model, Georgia Tech hosted the inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference InVenture Prize competition on April 5-6. All 15 ACC schools sent representative teams, and the top five were selected April 5 in a “Shark Tank”-style competition to battle in the finals April 6 for patent filings and $30,000 in prize money.
The atmosphere from our Ferst Center for the Arts was electric as the finals were broadcast live on Georgia Public Broadcasting and other Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations in ACC market areas, and also streamed online.
Congratulations to all the competitors and especially to the winners from Duke University, University of Virginia, and Georgia Tech who took home the top awards. Duke’s BioMetrix team of Gabrielle Levac and Ivonna Dumanyan won the $15,000 first prize for a wearable sensor that adheres to the skin, collects data, and uses cloud services to quantify rehabilitation progress and provide real-time feedback to reduce athletic injuries. UVA’s five-member Team Contraline, which won $10,000 for second place, is developing a male contraceptive that is long-lasting, non-hormonal, and reversible.
Georgia Tech’s FireHUD team took home the $5,000 People’s Choice Award, which goes to the fans’ favorite invention. Zachary Braun, a computer engineering major, and Tyler Sisk, an electrical engineering major, invented a real-time monitoring system and Head Up Display that provides biometric and environmental data to firefighters and the command-and-control center for the fire.
The ACC Academic Consortium, which supports academic initiatives among member universities, sponsored the ACC InVenture Prize. Dr. Rafael Bras, Georgia Tech’s provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, provided great leadership to help expand Georgia Tech’s InVenture into a conference-wide event.
Georgia Tech looks forward to hosting the 2017 ACC InVenture Prize. After that, the event will rotate through sites at other ACC universities. We are honored to have been the host for the history-making first competition!
G.P. “Bud” Peterson