UTSA’s most recent Student Technology Venture Competition, held April 21, lead students out of the lecture hall and into the marketplace with nine teams of students from the colleges of business and engineering.
The competition, presented by UTSA’s Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship, featured an array of technologies from a portable, digitally controlled therapeutic wrap, called Ortho Applications, which regulates hot and cold temperatures to B.A.T, a convenient technology used to jump-start batteries.
Competitors were judged by local academic experts based on their technology, business plan, and presentation.
The biannual competition, which began in 2007, was created when UTSA determined that its business and engineering students did little to continue their production plans or to develop technologies after receiving their final grades.
The competition created an incentive for these students to come together and potentially join the market after creating new technologies and plans for operating businesses.
Engineering students created a technology during the 2010 fall semester and teamed up with the business students, who then developed a company plan, this spring.
The students behind Voice Detector for the Deaf (VIODD) created a technology to assist the deaf and hard of hearing.
The idea was inspired by engineering team member Ahmad Turki, whose sister is a speech pathologist and works with the hearing impaired.
The technology detects and identifies sounds in the users’ surroundings, depending on the customized settings set by the user, for example a crying baby, a doorbell or knock, or a home-security alarm.
There are two prototypes: a solitary device and one installed as a cell phone application.
The VIODD team was the only one to place in both competitions: second in engineering and third in entrepreneurship.
“The competition was really intense because everyone worked so hard on the technological side to come up with something innovative and influential and on the business side to make it marketable. Everyone wanted to win,” College of Business Graduate Allison Linahan said.
Linahan’s team, PowerSole, placed fifth in the overall competition. PowerSole is a technology that uses electricity and solar energy to charge a back-up battery in the heel of a tennis shoe in order to charge cell phones and other small electronic devices.
ATALIS, technology created to measure alcohol inventory in bars and restaurants, placed second in the business planning competition.
ATALIS takes measurements in real-time as opposed to other beverage management systems, which require bar owners to go back and measure after each shift or at the end of the week. This technology aims to reduce theft and produce a more accurate inventory.
This year’s winners were the business and engineering students who developed eGLD, a prototype electric gastric leak detector. The team received $100,000 in prizes and benefits, which included consulting, legal services and office space.