Wichita State News
Photo: Samantha Corcoran
One of the winning student teams, with team members Christian Ammerman, Mikah Betterton, Maggie Brown, Noah Foster, Thanh Nguyen.

Five student teams win second annual Koch Innovation Challenge

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

  • Five Wichita State University student groups have won the Koch Innovation Challenge.
  • The competition helps prepare students to become real world-ready graduates with entrepreneurial experience.
  • » Read more.

Five student teams from Wichita State won the university’s second annual Koch Innovation Challenge.

The annual competition was held Friday, Dec. 1, and supports the College of Engineering in fostering a culture of creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and teamwork among students.

The goal is to help prepare students to become real world-ready graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset.

The winning projects / teams are:

  • “Firefighter SpeedSuit” - A one-piece fire suit that slides on in 25 seconds. Team members: Tyler Espinoza, Yasen Kolev, Thinh Nguyen, Colton Watters, Joshua Williams.
  • “Vision X” - An eye-tracking system that alerts distracted drivers. Team members: Alexa Mercer, Hamad Alsaeed, Nathan Ruby, Ryan Swint, Shaedon Wedel.
  • “School Safety” - A new type of lock for classroom doors to keep students safe. Team Members: Christian Ammerman, Mikah Betterton, Maggie Brown, Noah Foster, Thanh Nguyen.
  • “T-Rash” - An innovative trash can design that simplifies loading trash bags. Team members: Rianna Cazabat, Luke Ewertz, Thilanka Gamalathge, Lorraine Lowrey, Alexa Mercer.
  • “Moving Van Storage System” - A lug bar that protects fragile items inside a moving truck. Team members Denver Jackson, Lance Kelley, Ryan Stuempfig, Andrew Torres, Ridge Towner.

Each of the five winners will receive up to $1,200 in investment capital to pursue their ventures during their second semester. Additionally, students on the winning teams will be awarded a $1,000 Koch Innovation Challenge scholarship for their second semester.

Each winning team will be paired with a faculty innovation mentor.

The teams will go on to compete in May at the annual Engineering Open House, where one team will be named Grand Champion. This team will then compete at a national pitch competition.

The challenge is organized from the Introduction to Technology & Innovation freshman seminar general education course.
Team members are first-year freshmen and transfer students from majors all across campus, including engineering, theater, vocal performance, game design, elementary education, exercise science, sport management, pre-med, psychology, chemistry, biology and international business.

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