Meet the VTKW Global Student Challenge Teams – SiMSI

As part of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge, August 29 – September 4, 2010, you're invited to attend and observe student teams from around the world compete for a $25,000 grand prize and trophy at the Global Student Business Concept Challenge on September 2, 2010 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center

You can also attend "Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century," a workshop led by Jim Flowers, Director of VT KnowledgeWorks, on September 1, 2010 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. Please register for the Challenge and Workshop by August 25.

Please meet Team SiMSI, Universidad ORT Uruguay, Montevideo, Uruguay!

Q. Who are your team members?

A.  Rodrigo Sánchez, 5th year, Electric / Telecommunications Engineer; Carlos Protasi, 5th year, Electric / Telecommunications Engineer; Guillermo Spiller (not attending), 5th year, Electric / Telecommunications Engineer; Agustín Caldevilla (not attending), 5th year, Electric / Telecommunications Engineer.

VTKW Global Student Challenge Team SiMSI

Q. What is your business concept/idea?

A.  SiMSI provides a consulting service to Agriculture in order to optimize resources and increase quality and yields of crops.

SiMSI deploys a network of high quality telemetry and monitoring equipment which obtains real time data of environmental variables (such as temperature, soil, leaf and air humidity, wind, plant nutrients, etc) and that, supervised by SiMSI's specialized team of Engineers, offers the farmer/producer/investor all the necessary recommendations and controls to take the right decisions at the right time.

Through the SiMSI web application, our client can keep control of all the decisions taken, see and analyze the reports and graphics presented by SiMSI and access a network of knowledge where all the Agriculture actors (government, researchers, farmers, investors) are present and can interact with each other.

Q. What inspired your idea?

A.  In the university there were some investigations about introducing climate sensors to farms deploying a small network. Therefore, the next idea was to create a wider network of sensors to monitor an entire crop field and to process all the information gathered for a better use of the resources available.  The entry of blueberry crops (which need a very high quality control over the plantation) to the Uruguayan field in recent years gave a context to begin this idea and to introduce the monitoring technology.

The first inception of this concept was our final thesis of the Electric Engineering degree. There we were able to start the study of environmental sensors, the process and analysis of the data and the development of software easy to use and friendly for the different actors in agriculture (investors, researchers, farmers, etc).

Q. In what competitions have you participated?

A.

  • 1st prize – ANII- Apoyo a Jóvenes Emprendedores (National Agency of Investigation and Innovation- Support to Young entrepreneurs) – November 2009, national level competition, 18 teams
  • 1st prize – 3era. Edición Concurso Nacional Ideas para Emprender (Ideas to Entrepreneurship National Challenge, 3rd edition) – November 2009, national level competition, over 150 teams

Q.  Do you plan to pursue your idea/concept as a business after school?

A.  Yes, it all started as a project to pursue after school and all year we focused on having a practical result that could be commercialized. We are going to search for investors. There are some private and public funds such as Prosperitas and ANII (National Agency for Innovation and Investigation) that are supporting new entrepreneurial projects with a focus on technology. In fact ANII is supporting SIMSI, since Aug 2010.

Q.  What do you hope to achieve by participating in the Global Student Challenge?

A.  In this Global Student Challenge I hope first of all to take home a great experience, to have contacts with all the entrepreneurs, and to learn from the workshops and host companies for the development of SiMSI.

Good luck to Team SiMSI!

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To fully experience the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge, you're invited to:

Learn about "Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century," in the workshop led by Jim Flowers, Director of VT KnowledgeWorks during the day of September 1 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, attend the NCTC Fall Gala on the evening of September 1, lodge that night at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, then attend and observe student teams from around the world compete for a $25,000 grand prize and trophy at the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge beginning the morning of September 2, 2010.

Here's more about The Challenge and the schedule of events, here's where to register for the Workshop, Challenge, or as an advertiser, and here's where to register for the NCTC Fall Gala.

Learn more about the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge on the VT KnowledgeWorks site, through individual posts with news and updates via VTKW Global Student Challenge on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks, and by visiting the VTKW Global Student Challenge on Facebook.

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The VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge is made possible thanks to the generous Global Challenge Event Sponsors, including COTA, G.J. Hopkins Inc., HCA VA Health System, Interactive Achievement, Novozymes, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Rackspace, TechLab, and The Branch Group Inc.

Virginia Tech Office of Outreach and International Affairs, Montgomery County, Virginia, Panera Bread, and Custom Catering will sponsor meals during the Global Challenge Celebration. 

Welcome bags presented to each student finalist are sponsored by University Bookstore/Volume II Bookstore, the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Downtown Blacksburg, Inc., Virginia Tech Graduate School, the Cranwell International Center at Virginia Tech, and Mountain Lake.

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