Photo courtesy of

Last week, the six finalists for the 2017 InVenture Prize, Tech’s annual student innovation competition, were announced.

Having survived a preliminary round of open gallery judging and semifinal round of direct pitches, these remaining six teams will progress to the InVenture Prize Finals, which will be held on March 15 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ferst Center Theatre and televised regionally by Georgia Public Broadcasting:

Capable Cane, “a walking cane that unfolds into a portable,
stable chair.”

CauteryGuard, an electrocautery device that retracts when not in use in order to “[remove] any chance of accidental injury caused by the device.”

CPR+, “a CPR mask which allows an untrained bystander to perform CPR by collecting vitals and dynamically walking the user through each step of the process.”

Gaitway, “transportable, collapsible parallel bars” that children in a wide age range can use for physical therapy.

InternBlitz, a streamlined online application for internships, inspired by the “digital college application system of the Common App.”

PickAR, an augmented reality headset that overlays “picking information and directions to packages” in order to help speed up warehouse operations.

Chris Reaves, the director of Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Student Innovation Programs, said competition was tight due to the large number of high quality teams this year.

“We’ve seen more teams that would have made the finalists in the past that didn’t make the finalists because we have a such a large high quality teams now,” Reaves said.

Projects are judged on innovation, marketability, market size, inventor passion and their probability of becoming a successful business or nonprofit. For teams to advance in the competition, it is critical for them to show that the idea can attract customers and evolve into a successful operation.

“What separates being a semifinalist to a finalist in that you’re able to show or at least demonstrate that [there will be] some kind of demand for your product, and that’s the hardest part,” Reaves said.

The first and second-place teams will receive $20,000 and $10,000, respectively, and both receive free U.S. patent filings and acceptance into Tech’s Summer 2017 Flashpoint business
creation program.

Additionally, a $5,000 People’s Choice Award is up for grabs. The first-place team will advance to the second annual ACC InVenture Prize Competition, where teams from each of the 15 Atlantic Coast Conference universities will compete for up to $15,000 in prize money. The ACC InVenture Prize competition will be held March 30–31 at Tech.