On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the 2021 DifferenceMaker Francis College of Engineering Prototyping Competition was held at University Crossing from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This event consisted of a preliminary round, people’s choice voting, and final round. The twelve teams competing during the preliminary demonstration round were:
– AirGuardian, team members Kieron Sharwood, Adam Warden, and Kevin Zhang
– BioECOL, team members Zachary Katimy, Tomas Lera, Abraham Mudoola, Dimitri Ros
– Draw a Print, team members Johnathan Aguliar, Philopater Askander, Theresa Foley, Daniel German-George, Yibo Li, and Ruolin Zhou
– He4lth, team members Joseph Fallica, Angelica Jones, Sarah Ross, Varun Somasundaram
– MedAlarm, team members Anthony Areche, Mason Burne, Evelyn Duffy, and Maddie McLaren
– No Maskne, team members Alexia Bittarelli, Joshua Frechette, Samuel Paolini, Danelia Rodriguez, and Giovanny Sanchez
– PenGRED, team members Danielle Bucci, Ryan Butler, Gabriela Karnesky, and Grace Murray
– Proprioception & Athletic Performance, team members Mark Elman and Steven Evangelos
– Prosthetic Hand for Steering, team member Tze-min Lin
– Tendren, team members Ethan Block, Amie Russell, and Victoria Williams
– The Accreditors, team members Mayank Amrohi, Nabil Barkallah, Linnae Casebeer, and Evangaline McFarland
– Vision, team member Mohammadali Khalifa
The prototype demonstration round was held from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. in the lobby of University Crossing. Each team had five minutes to present their product to a panel of preliminary judges, followed by a five-minute Q&A session. The preliminary judges were:
– Andrew Amigo, ’94, College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, CEO of Blackburn Energy LLC
– Carol Devellian, ‘85,13, Francis College of Engineering, President of Yeti Biomedical LLC
– Mark Dyment, ‘1986 Francis College of Engineering, CEO of MC Process Technologies, Inc.
– Bill Estes, ’87, Francis College of Engineering, General Manager of Anderson Power Products
– Dave Janeczek, ’82, ’85, Francis College of Engineering, Former Manager Process Development Center of Raytheon Technologies Corporation
– Bill Perciballi, ’86, Francis College of Engineering, Force Engineering
– John Raguin, Growth Advisor
– Mike Rider, ’87, Francis College of Engineering, Vice President of Engineering & Operations of Coravin, LLC
– Leigh Sharrock, ’03, Francis College of Engineering, Director, Systems Engineering of Brooks Automation, Inc.
During the prototype demonstration round, the judges scored each team based on the problem that was being solved, the opportunity that it holds, prototype quality, resources/implementation needed, presentation effectiveness, and overall project. After seeing each team’s pitch and demonstrations, the preliminary judges deliberated on which teams would move forward for the final round.
The teams that moved onto the final competition were:
– Draw a Print (Tailored 3D Standard Triangle Language (STL) CAD Design models for 3D printable parts)
– PenGRED (Epinephrine Auto Injectors for young children)
– Proprioception and Athletic Performance (Alarius Table with MatLab/Arduino Telemetry)
– Prosthetic Hand for Steering (steering wheel prosthetic for farmers)
– Tendren (Emergency Room monitoring during hospital waits)
Meanwhile, the prototype public viewing was held from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in the lobby of University Crossing. Event attendees which consisted of students, faculty, community friends, and family each had five votes (five, $100,000 bills) to disperse to the teams they liked the best.
The Final Round Competition was held in Moloney Hall from 7:00- 8:00 p.m. The Final Round started with opening remarks by Dean Sherwood and Provost Hartman. Next, the five finalist teams pitched their ideas on stage and demonstrated their prototype to the panel of final judges.
The judges during the final round were:
– Rajia Abdelaziz, ’16, Francis College of Engineering and Kennedy College of Sciences, CEO, invisaWear
– Chad LaFrance, ’92 Francis College of Engineering, Director of Texas Instruments
– Chris McKenna, ’89 Francis College of Engineering
– Mark Saab, ’81, ’13 (H) Francis College of Engineering, Founding Trustee, Saab Family Foundation
– Bhupen Shah, ’92, Francis College of Engineering
After all the presentations the final judges deliberated and selected the winners for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes. Additionally, the judges chose an honorable mention award.
The final awards were:
– 1st Place, $2,500, as well as automatically advancing to the DifferenceMaker $50,000 Idea Challenge Preliminary Pitch-off in April 2022 – Proprioception and Athletic Performance – Mark Elaman and Steven Evangelos
– 2nd Place, $1,500, as well as People’s Choice Award, $500 – Tendren – Ethan Block, Amie Russell, and Victoria Williams
– 3rd place, $1,000, – PenGRED – Danielle Bucci, Ryan Butler, Gabiela Karnesky, and Grace Murray
– Honorable Mention – Prosthetic Hand for Steering, Tze-min Lin
Thank you to everyone who attended and supported this event! Watch a video featuring the highlights of the competition here.
Interested in pitching an idea and getting funding? Applications for the 10th Annual $50,000 Idea Challenge are open now – apply today!