InVenture winners chosen

Photo courtesy of Institute Communications

Three winning teams claimed InVenture Prize awards at the Ferst Center Theatre on Wednesday.

FlameTech Grill Defender’s “life safety device for gas grills” won first place, securing $20,000. OculoStaple’s surgical device for drooping eyelids received the second place award of $10,000.

In the finale, an audience consisting of team fans, K-12 student guests and visitors from other universities used live text-message voting to nominate the application development team Haplit for the “People’s Choice Award,” a sum of $5,000 for their work on a “learning device for the braille writing system.”

The winning inventions will be licensed under Tech’s Office of Information Technology free of charge. Additionally, Tech’s “Flashpoint” program will contact the teams to assist in their transitions to startups.

“With InVenture Prize, students get the experience of developing their own idea and finding the customer value for their ideas,” said Chris Reaves, director of Undergraduate Research and Student Innovation. “As far as InVenture prize goes, the resulting visibility and exposure they get opens many doors to opportunities.”

The finals consisted of six teams that were selected from the preliminary and semifinal rounds earlier this year. Online viewers numbered roughly 7,000, and the service was facilitated by Georgia Public Broadcasting.

“The InVenture Prize is pretty different from what we do in class,” said Jack Breen of QuantaBrew, ME major. “If I had to pick a class, I’d say it is most similar to ME2110 because there’s a lot of technical writing, presenting, and design that you have to do.”

Breen intends to start a Kickstarter project in hopes of obtaining a patent for QuantaBrew after the InVenture Prize stage.

“After becoming a finalist and practicing with the other teams and InVenture Prize organizers, I realized that I really needed to just stop working on perfecting my prototype and start working on the business side of things. In the last few weeks, I have spent most of my time understanding the coffee market, researching similar products, and figuring out the best way to turn my idea into a successful product,” said Breen.

In preparation for the one-day show, teams focused on practicing their pitches and completing the provisional patent.

“After getting nominated [for the finals], it became very important to show that Shortweb would actually be a business and not just a cool app, so we had to split our efforts from just product to other areas of business development,” said Miguel Oller, ME major.

According to Reaves, Tech is at the forefront of entrepreneurship with competitions like InVenture.