Innovation Days at Stevens and NJIT Highlight Student, Faculty Work

Photo: A portable water backpack for disaster areas by team AquaNow was one of the projects pitched at Stevens. Photo Credit: Stevens Institute of Technology

A portable water backpack for disaster areas by team AquaNow was one of the projects pitched at Stevens. | Stevens Institute of Technology

NJTechWeekly.com attended two Innovation Days this spring, one on April 19, 2013, at NJIT (Newark) and the other on April 24, 2013, at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken). Both events highlighted student work and featured student pitch competitions.

This year, innovation at NJIT and Stevens occurred mainly in the medical device field, judging by the two pitch competitions.

Students competed in TechQuest at NJIT. The winners took home $10,500 in total prize money, funded by James Stevenson of Morristown, a retired Honeywell (Morris Township) scientist.

ChitO2-Clot, a cost-effective dressing that stops bleeding, is MRSA bacteria-resistant and was developed by four NJIT biomedical engineering majors, took the $6,000 first-place prize. My Own Physical Therapist/Personal Trainer (My OPT), a compression sleeve that records electrical signals from a rehabilitation patient’s or a strength trainer’s muscle, took the $3,000 second-place prize. A multiple stitch-producing device developed by undergrads Margaret Christian of Lake Hopatcong, Alexis Ipekci, Pooja Sheth and Luis Urdanivia took the $1,500 third-place prize.

Judging the NJIT contest were Stevenson; scientist Richard Bye of Morristown, also a Honeywell retiree; current Honeywell senior scientist Martin Baker of Budd Lake; NJIT professor Gordon Thomas; associate professor Grace Wang; and assistant professor Cesar Bandera.

At Stevens, students presented project plans with the goal of selling a project to a potential client or boss, and elevator pitches with the objective of obtaining new funding for a startup. First-place winners received $3,000, second-place winners received $2,000 and third-place winners took home $1,000, to be divided among team members.

As at NJIT, many plans and pitches at the Stevens event centered on life sciences and medical device technologies. Aaron Price, founder of weCraft.com and NJ Tech Meetup organizer, moderated as a panel of area tech leaders and entrepreneurs judged. On the panel were Ethan Chazin, founder of the business consulting firm The Chazin Group; Jeanne Gray, founder of American Entrepreneurship Today and NJEntrepreneurship.com; Travis Kahn, executive director of TechLaunch (Montclair); Matthew Wade, cofounder and CEO of Talisman Guidance Systems (Hoboken); and Mark Yackanich, CEO of Genesis Media (New York).

Third place in the business plan competition went to Coast, a plan for cogeneration of electricity at Stevens to accommodate the campus’s expected growth. The second-place winner was Ecohabit, a cost-effective, energy-efficient home that uses integrated solar panels and an on-demand hot water system. First place went to Stevens Greywater Treatment, a method of treating gray water — the water that results from activities such as showering and washing clothes, which does not contain fecal matter — devised by the Stevens community.

For the elevator pitch competition, third place went to AquaNow, a portable solution for delivering clean water during natural disasters, while second place went to Nevros, a surgical robot offered at a lower cost. First place went to AcceleroMetrix, a medical monitoring device that detects when a patient is safe from the effects of anesthesia so that a breathing tube can be removed, thus preventing complications.

NJIT’s Innovation Day featured exhibitions from the Interdisciplinary Design Studio at the institute’s Albert Dorman Honors College; the winners of Global Game Jam, a competition that took place earlier in 2013; the winners of a Juniper Networks hackathon covered here; and posters from  New Jersey Technology Council andNew Jersey Entrepreneurial Network competitions.

The Stevens Innovation Day featured faculty posters and senior project exhibitions. The day included a lecture on entrepreneurship by David Hershberg of Globecomm Systems (Hauppauge, NY, which NJTechWeekly.com hopes to cover in a future article, and a review of the Stevens Financial Systems Center.

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