VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Challenge Winners Announced

The Third Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week, held August 19 – August 25, 2012, provided a unique opportunity for student teams and faculty from all over the world to collaborate and initiate their personal global networks through learning, socialization, and friendly competition in Blacksburg and Roanoke, Virginia.  During this week-long celebration of entrepreneurship, student teams from China, Australia, France, Mexico, England, Italy, Chile, Belgium, Colombia, Canada, Austria, Malaysia and the United States competed for a $25,000 grand prize and the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy. 

Top honors went to Mayank Kalra and Annelies Tjebbes of Team VersiCool, representing the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.  Their portable medical device induces controlled hypothermia in cardiac arrest patients, significantly reducing risk of death and other side effects. As a permanent tribute to their outstanding effort, their name and university will be etched into the base of the Global Challenge Trophy, which will reside at VT KnowledgeWorks in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. 

VersiCool, winners of the 2012 VTKW Global Student Challenge
Photo, left to right:  Annelies Tjebbes and Mayank Kalra

Two runner-up teams, Vibeat, representing the Vienna University of Technology and CARmunity representing the University of Technology Sydney, each received $5,000.  Michaela Naszada, Jennifer North, Josef Strezenec, and Philipp Zbornik of team Vibeat presented special headphones that permit hearing-impaired music lovers to feel the beat through the bones of their heads.  Alice Batts, Lucy Burne, Vanessa Elias, and Megan Williams of team CARmunity described a money-saving carpooling app for commuting students that includes a game encouraging reduction of carbon emissions.

The competition finals at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center on August 23, 2012 were part of a week-long celebration of student entrepreneurship and students’ important contributions to the global economy. Bob Grebe, anchor of the Fox 21/27 Morning News in Roanoke was the Master of Ceremonies of the Global Student Challenge, as well as Dr. Richard Daugherty, Director of Strategic Services at VT KnowledgeWorks.  Also at The Hotel Roanoke, a regional audience welcomed the global attendees at the Tastes and Sounds of the Valleys Reception highlighting unique food and music of the New River and Roanoke Valleys on August 22, 2012. 

During the rest of their visit to Virginia, international teams remained in Blacksburg, housed by local families.  They spent interactive time with successful technology companies and enjoyed fellowship with Virginia Tech students of the German Club, Graduate School, Entrepreneur Club, and Pi Kappa Alpha.   Activities included tours of the Virginia Tech campus and Lane Stadium, a downtown souvenir shopping experience, and hike in the Cascades. Festive meals highlighted the entire week, including the awards banquet and flag presentation ceremony at The Inn at Virginia Tech hosted by the Virginia Tech Office of Outreach and International Affairs.    

To learn more about the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Business Concept Challenge, visit our website at www.vtkwglobal.com

A guide listing all participating finalist teams in the Global Challenge can be found here.

All of this is made possible thanks to the generous Global Partnership Event Sponsors, including 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.

For a complete list of other contributors of the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week please visit our website

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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