Students manning a "Prenatal Hope" exhibit.

Biomedical engineering students dominate 2018 Shocker New Venture Competition

Biomedical engineering students dominated the 2018 New Venture Competition held April 27, 2018, winning three of the top four places.

Hosted by WSU's Center for Entrepreneurship, the competition serves as an opportunity for college students from across the state, and from several different majors, to take key steps in developing and launching a new business venture.

First place and $10,000 went to Prenatal Hope, the senior capstone project of BME students Tammy Dorsey, Shacore Nelon, Jennifer Mattar and Kale Watchous, an entrepreneurship student. Prenatal Hope is developing a pH detection device that can check for oxygen deprivation in utero, a condition known as fetal acidosis, which can lead to infant mortality. Prenatal Hope also won the Healthcare Innovation Award.

Third place and $2,000 went to Nervii, the senior capstone project of BME students Hannah Hund, Josie Eck, Sarah Jones and Eric Katzenmeier, an entrepreneurship student. Nervii is a a real-time nerve-imaging tool using 3D orientation and Raman spectroscopy designed to make it easier for surgeons to see nerves within tumors. When launched, the product will improve patient outcomes and save hospital systems time, money and liability.

BME grad student Ryan Becker was part of the team that won 4th place for Cy5, a temporary tattoo for accurate, unobtrusive and ubiquitous heart rate tracking – with a wireless, battery-less and flexible design. It requires no charging or Bluetooth pairing, and the information is effortlessly transmitted back to the user's phone.

BME students RJ Clark, Amelia Sample, Fayez Alruwaili were part of a team that won the Director's Award for Heart2Heart, which aims to eliminate the wired connection between patients and electrocardiogram machine via a compact case that remains with the patient and transfers cardiac data wirelessly.

People's Choice Award went to Deep Blue, a senior design project by electrical and computer engineering students Eric Corey, Kalvik Jakkala and Austin White. Deep Blue is an expandable, maintainable and highly maneuverable Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV), along with an underwater wireless communication system that will open up new possibilities for aquatic data collection.

The entire competition was a tight race as teams pitched their ideas to a variety of judges and audiences. To start the competition, an application and a three-minute video were submitted. A selection board reviewed the videos and invited 30 teams to compete. Those teams continued to refine their ideas through a 10-page business plan they then submitted.

Judges from within the business community reviewed the various teams' plans and made their assessment. Of those that were reviewed, only 16 teams advanced to the next round, the Trade Show.
At the Trade Show, teams were allowed to impress the judges with any display, prototypes and presentation they had prepared.

Six teams were given the chance to present to a panel of judges. The judges included some of the sponsors for this year's competition: Foulston Siefkin, IMA Financial, INTRUST Bank, High Touch Technologies, Lubrication Engineers, NetWork Kansas, R.D. Henry & Co., Riverside Health Foundation and Jeff & Kelley DeGraffenreid.

Learn more about the competition here.