Line-up of Competitors for VTKW Global Business Concept Challenge

Citizens of the New River and Roanoke Valleys of Virginia and beyond are invited to attend the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge free of charge on Thursday, August 23, 2012, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM in the Washington Hall at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center in Roanoke, Virginia.  Please register here to attend the Global Challenge.

Previous Global Student Business Concept Challenge WinnersAt the Global Challenge, university teams will present their business concept presentations to a panel of business leaders and compete for the $25,000 cash prize and VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy. The top two runners-up will receive $5,000 cash prizes. 

The Global Challenge is the main event in the third annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week which brings university students, faculty, and staff from all over the world together to congregate, collaborate, form partnerships, and build their global networks. The Global Partnership is a multi-layered, ongoing cooperative association of regions building permanent social, academic, and business relationships.

You're invited to meet the teams at Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys, the opening event for the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week, on Tuesday, August 22, 2012, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM. Please register here to attend Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys.

The finalist student teams are listed below in alphabetical order by university with a link to the university's site.  Included in each listing is the team's home country and business concept name and description.  Beneath each business description is a "Read more" link to a post on Inside VT KnowledgeWorks with more information about the team.

The Teams

Ghent University – Ghent, Belgium


SafeFiber is a manufacturer of extremely strong fibers, comparable to Kevlar fibers. However, there is one major difference: the raw materials are natural waste products that will be transformed into green, durable fibers. We are pioneers in this sector for producing green fibers and intend to supply B2B.  If we want to keep supplying the world with all the necessary goods, every company will have to adopt more sustainable and renewable technologies.

Read more

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile – Santiago, Chile


You take a photo, you send it to a friend and when that friend opens it, it appears for 3 seconds before it self-destructs, leaving no record whatsoever. This is Nixpic! An app to experience friends' photos with no chance to keep a record of them.

Read more

Tech University of Malaysia – Johor Bahru, Malaysia


Vir.togs is a website of medium-end brand apparel for online shopping.  Vir.togs is an online fashion boutique where aspiring fashionistas are able to select and view their selections on their 3D images. Now everyone can afford a stylist or can even be one!

Read more

Tecnológico de Monterrey – Monterrey, Mexico

H&C Medical Tourism

Health & Care Medical Tourism is a company focused on providing medical treatments in Mexico for insurance companies, associations, and organizations. Our services are offered for the employees of the organizations and members of associations, particularly to Hispanic people in the United States. The service is offered through alliances and agreements with insurance companies and health care associations we contact to provide the medical treatments and transportation for patients to Mexico.

Read more

Télécom SudParis – Paris, France

Explee: Enhance the impact of your ideas

Explee is an intuitive online video software that allows a non-technical user to create an amazing and pedagogical video, solving the problem of static presentations and misconstrued ideas and concepts.  With its animations library, you can produce your video in seconds. And if you desire more animations, you can upload your own pictures and graphics.

Read more

Tongji University – Shanghai, People's Republic of China


@Village is a mobile application that provides real-time, location based enquiry services. Mobile app users can immediately and correctly receive real-time advice and information from local residents, as if they were a part of that "village" or community.

Read more

Universidad del Norte – Barranquilla, Colombia

The Specialty Coffee Roaster (La Tostadora)

In consideration of the absence of places like this in Colombia, my business concept is a retail specialty coffee roaster. The retail roaster will offer different national varieties of specialty coffee with different roasting profiles to fit the taste of each of our clients. The Specialty Coffee Roaster (La Tostadora) is a coffee house where you can roast and grind your own profiled fresh Colombian coffee while you enjoy an espresso or cappuccino.

Read more

University of British Columbia – Vancouver, Canada

VersiCool Therapeutic Hypothermia

VersiCool is a medical device concept that induces therapeutic hypothermia, a treatment which has been proven to increase survival rates and decrease neurological damage in cardiac arrest patients. VersiCool is designed for use in both the pre-hospital and in-hospital settings which allows for rapid cooling in the early stages following a cardiac arrest. Its differentiating factors from competitors in the industry are its portability, controlled cooling, and ease of application.
Picture: from left to right – Stephanie Wilson, Mayank Kalra, Annelies Tjebbes

Read more

University of Kent – Canterbury, Kent, England

Memory Juice

Memory Juice is an engaging revision aid, promising new methods of reflective learning using blogs and internet based video posts. Fun content can be unlocked by students the more they revise.

Read more

University of Technology Sydney – Sydney, Australia


CARmunity is a revolutionary smart phone app that aims to create an environmentally focused culture by helping to reduce carbon emissions caused by vehicles and save its users money by sharing the cost of commuting.

Read more

University of Trento – Trento, Italy


Falsification of products is a real threat to the protection of the intellectual property of innovative companies. Methods that range from the creation of holograms to special logos have been implemented to protect goods; however, their effectiveness has been variable against the concrete and important surge in the labeling costs.  MetaColoursGuard is a new revolutionary method of printing protection against falsification. This method is based on the inability of human eyes to see the differences between two colors which are produced by two different printing technologies. MCG lets producers guard their goods with a relatively high degree of protection and low initial investments. This method does not require any changes in the production process and can be applied in a short period of time.

Read more

Vienna University of Technology – Vienna, Austria


VIBEAT aims to solve a basic problem: Deaf people can’t hear music but still want to be part of our music culture. VIBEAT enables the hearing-impaired to feel music. Its innovative headphones transform music into vibrations and create a unique experience.

Read more

Virginia Tech – Blacksburg, Virginia, USA


For aspiring professionals looking to become noteworthy experts in their fields, YouFolio offers an expedient way to publish one's best works online and become indexed by major search engines.  YouFolio offers a personalized recommendation engine for employers, a crowd-sourced inline editing system for visitors, and enhanced permission settings for its members.  The paradigm of the resume is changing and the sourcing of verifiable talent has never been easier than when using YouFolio.

Read more


Register for Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys, 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM, Wednesday, August 22, 2012 and register to attend the Global Student Challenge, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Thursday, August 23, 2012.


These generous sponsors make this very special week of education, competition, relaxation, and relationship building possible: The Allegheny Logistics Group, CCS-Inc., Montgomery County, Virginia Economic Development Department, G.J. Hopkins Inc., Interactive Achievement, Inc., NetVentures, Novozymes, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Rackspace, SAIC, Shentel, StellarOne Bank, SunTrust Bank, TechLab, Third Security, The Branch Group Inc., Virginia Tech, Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, and VPT, Inc.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship world-wide, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation, funded through the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters is in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.

VT KnowledgeWorks sponsors include Attaain, Inc., BB&T, The Branch Group, Handshake 2.0, Harris Office Furniture, Hodges, Jones & Mabry, P.C., Hutchison Law Group, LeClairRyan, New River Valley Intellectual Property Law, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) and The Becher Agency (TBA).

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