For many students, the beginning of the fall semester is a time to regroup after nearly four months off, meet up with friends again and get back into the swing of classes. Some students, however, came back and immediately jumped into new adventures. By the end of September, 75 teams had entered the newly redesigned Change the World Challenge, interested in exploring the market validity of their idea. The goal of the challenge is to give students the opportunity to take their first steps as an entrepreneur. During the six-week program, teams refine their idea by conducting customer interviews, feeling the pain points the user experiences and pivoting to address the uncovered recurring symptoms. Only 30 of the original 75 applicants advanced to the second round to actually begin on the six-week journey. In the end, only 10 teams are chosen to receive a prize of $1,000. This semester’s winners are, in no particular order:
Medificent—mobile application and website for tracking local infections, with the feature of online notifications. The team includes Alexandra Damiano ’15, Jenny Bergstrom ’15, and Liudmila Alekseeva ’15.
Background Screening—a smartphone app which leverages people’s normal everyday activities while alerting them to abnormalities that they otherwise would not be aware of, giving them the opportunity for early medical detection and sustained life. The team includes Thomas Hayes ’14.
Culture-Shift—a device designed to capture the critical physiological factors of vascular endothelial tissue to produce highly representative in vitro tissue models in high-capacity, while integrating with standard laboratory supplies, equipment, and experimental protocols. The team includes John Trasatti ’15, Paige Trasatti ’16, Chris Lamplough ’17, and Greg Merrill ’17.
Fire-Eye—an entirely new fire safety system that provides a method for predicting and preventing fires in your home before they occur. The team includes Spencer Parker ’15.
InvisibleFriends—a website and smartphone app that allows people with chronic digestive illnesses to track the connection between diet and symptoms. The team includes Abigail Gillett ’16 and Caren Irgang ’15.
Lightfeed—a wearable electronic sensor which spectrally resolves a user’s ambient light exposure over enabling researchers to study the effects of ambient light on human circulation function. The team includes Kevin Lyman ’15, Theo Pak ’15, and Ethan Spitz ’15.
Bluetooth Tracking—an alternative tracking technology to RFID that allows additional and improved functionality. The team includes Sage Trudeau ’16 and James Hanford ’16.
Park Now—a product to improve the parking experience in large cities. The team includes Edwin Liang ’15 MBA, Fanny Zhang ’15 MBA, Qi Ye ’14 MBA, and Yunru Wang ’15.
Quitli—a wearable technology that brings the psychology of habit to the quantified self-movement by recording those moments when you’re not at your best and letting you visualize their frequency. The team includes Alexa Aranjo ’15, Kevin Lyman ’15, and Shankar Rao ’15.
Mi Games—a user-friendly dedicated communication tool that allows for athletes to communicate with coaches, trainers, and nutritionists as well as allowing for direct communication between the athletics department and the fans. The team included Adalberto Ponce ’15 M.S. and Tommaso Gardini ’15.
The challenge will run again in the spring semester, so be on the lookout for the submission deadline at the end of winter break.
The Change the World Challenge is made possible by the generosity of serial entrepreneur and alumnus Sean O’Sullivan ’85.
To find out more about the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship, please visit http://scte.rpi.edu.