April 24, 2013

Accelerate Success

Zachary Jackson from UrbanFlex

Five student teams awarded $23,500 in innovation and entrepreneurship challenge

Boston, MA – April 24, 2013 – Wentworth Institute of Technology announced today that five student teams participating in the third iteration of Accelerate, the Institute’s innovation and entrepreneurship challenge, were awarded $23,500 in funding. Eleven interdisciplinary teams comprised of students from at least two majors pitched their emerging startup ideas to a panel of judges at the “Pitchfest” event with the goal of securing funding to turn big ideas into reality. A sampling of the ideas included audio systems for the visually impaired, real time video game, flexible lights, an online architectural journal, and women’s lacrosse helmets.

“Student teams have been working extremely hard over the past semester to advance their ideas,” said Monique Fuchs, associate vice president, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We are offering programming to students intended to leverage Boston’s larger innovation economy and connect them with some of the entrepreneurs and business leaders in the region.”

The following five teams generated innovative ideas, delivered solid business models, and were awarded funding from the judges:

  • UrbanFlex was awarded $6,000

Zachary Jackson (Industrial Design) and Alex Schwarzkopf (Electromechanical Engineering)

UrbanFlex is a new flexible style of lights for skateboards and other equipment.

  • CareEz was awarded $6,000

Ciro Podany (Architecture), Walmen Dumaliang (Industrial Design), Tory Lam (Architecture), Nick Strout (Architecture), and Derek Bisson (Architecture)

CareEz is an inexpensive, foldable carrying device to transport large pieces of chip board, cardboard, and other items easily through urban environments.

  • .DAT was awarded $5,000

JT White (Master of Architecture), Lucy Brown (Master of Architecture), Joseph Meucci (Master of Architecture), Samuel Walusimbi (Master of Architecture), and Grant Wilkes (Computer Science)

.DAT (Discourse around Architecture and Technology) is an ad-free online journal linking architectural design, theory, and technology.

  • TrafficFlux was awarded $3,500

Matthew Michaud (Computer Science), Ben Greenier (Computer Science), and Abraham Oosten (Graphic Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Design)

Drive along real streets in this real-time game.

  • FindMe was awarded $3,000

Ben Sewards (Computer Science), Ralph Giangregorio (Computer Science), Chou Yang (Computer Science), and Chris Streeks (Computer Networking)

A real time geo-location mobile app that utilizes discovery and curiosity to expand networking.

Judges for “Pitchfest” included Bobbie Carlton, founder of Mass Innovation Nights; Armand Milazzo, President and founder of Milazzo Enterprise, LLC; Stefania Nappi Mallett, founder of EzCatering; and Fady Saad, co-founder of e-Powerhouse.

Since May 2012 more than 200 students have been involved in Accelerate, forming more than 80 interdisciplinary teams to pitch ideas, and over 70 mentors have supported these teams. To date, 15 teams were funded, totaling $77,000.

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