On Thursday, Sept.15 the NC State Entrepreneurship Initiative hosted Entrepalooza – an annual entrepreneurship and innovation festival. The main feature of the event was the Minute to Pitch It competition, where students had 60 seconds to pitch their ideas for a chance to win $1,000 for the Audience Choice Award. In addition, ventures that utilized IBM cloud services were eligible to win the $1,000 IBM Built on Cloud prize!
Over 700 people attended the event, which included an Innovation Lab featuring live demonstrations from NC State entrepreneurship programs and local innovation partners , with large crowds enjoying the pitch competition and submitting their votes for their favorite pitch.
Audience Choice Winner: WalkPool
WalkPool’s app promotes community walking as a way to reduce pollution, save money and meet new people. Their team is led by graduate students Rakesh Sukmar and Jigar Sharda.
“Everybody is complaining that technology is pulling people apart, and everybody [has] their heads in their phones,” Sukumar said. “Our idea was to use technology to get people together. One of the things that students spend a lot of time doing is walking, so we thought we would use that time to help people connect.”
Built on Cloud Winner: MEDTRAQ
MEDTRAQ is a lightweight hand washing compliance system that leverages cutting edge Bluetooth 4.0 technology and the Internet of Things. MEDTRAQ was selected as the winner of the Built on Cloud Prize by a panel of eight judges from IBM. Their team is led by Alexander Leonov and Shaunuk Turanga, both seniors in electrical engineering.
“Hospitals… are able to get a better understanding of what’s going on in their facilities and their operations,” Turaga said. “This is mutually beneficial for hospitals, for insurance providers, and for all of us.”
Congratulations to WalkPool and MEDTRAQ!
About IBM’s Entrepalooza Sponsorship:
IBM continues to actively support the NCSU “Think and Do” culture. Any NCSU student or faculty can visit the ncsu.onthehub.com website and with their ncsu.edu credentials take advantage of an offer to gain extended access to the IBM Bluemix cloud trial. IBM Bluemix provides flexible resources to design and develop innovative solutions leveraging big data, analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Watson, mobile, security and more in one consistent cloud experience.