$15,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award in 2015
Animus, Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla, Colombia
Alfonso Quijano Jesurum, Jose Gómez Castro
Animus Ingeniería is a technology-based company with expertise in video analytics and telemetry that combines face recognition, automatic vehicle location, and inventory control technology that helps companies in Latin America affected by highway banditry or merchandise theft in vehicles transporting goods over land. Animus recently joined forces with a company, DCT (Digital Com Tech), utilizing some of their hardware and software services, while tapping into their clientele network to grow. They are in the process of seeking outside funding, and they have hired two new engineers to assist with their continued growth.
$5,000 People’s Choice Winner in 2015
EntoLog, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland
Philippe Geiger, Stefan Klettenhammer, Meinrad Koch
EntoLog continues to work on their business, producing nutritious protein-rich foods using an innovative technology that enables the extraction of proteins and other valuable nutritional products from insects. In early September 2015, they presented their business case on a national TV talk show: www.srf.ch/play/tv/aeschbacher/video/meinrad-koch?id=20ee3560-b37b-4dfd-b5e0-7fc6e97c8319. They were nominated for the leading technology prize in Switzerland called the Swiss Technology Award, and as a result of their nomination, they produced this short video clip (in German): www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYdnmifntcg. They were also mentioned in a national economic magazine featuring ten outstanding startups from Switzerland (available in German or French): http://dievolkswirtschaft.ch/de/2016/04/gerber-05-2016. In collaboration with a process company and the University of Applied Sciences, Wädenswil, they are in the process of setting up a CTI project (Commission for Technology and Innovation) to upscale the extraction process and to check its industrial validity. They have joined the RUNWAY Startup Incubator at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur where they receive collaborative open work space and a personal coach to accelerate their growth.
$5,000 People’s Choice Winner in 2014
DD-MOff, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile
Andrea Carolina Mohr Beckdorf, Trinidad Schlotterbeck Suárez, Alison Kareen Scheuch González
DD-MOff is a natural product designed to be applied on any object that is in contact with the algae Didymo to reduce the chance of dissemination to new environments, while not affecting other ecosystems. The team is currently validating their results with a recognized external lab in Chile, which is dedicated to the detection of the algae Didymo. The lab was hired in March and DD-MOff is looking forward to receiving formal results in July. Based on that technical information, they will define and decide strategically how they move forward with DD-MOff.
$5,000 Second Place Winner in 2013
Roka, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Conchita De Souza, Janek Gonsalkorale, Paridhi Jain, and Natalia Krslovic
The founder of Roka, Kimberley Abbott, handed Roka back to the 40K Group, a leader in social entrepreneurship space, in order to progress the business further. Roka was formed while Kim was taking part in 40K Globe; offering Australian university students, including students from the University of Technology, Sydney, an opportunity to get practical experience in an unfamiliar environment and culture, and help address problems present in rural Indian communities. Roka is a social microenterprise project that is currently being established to improve the status of women and to increase education and economic empowerment for the women of Maranahali Bande quarry in Bangalore, India. Roka employs women to make jewelry (pendants and cuff links) from the waste granite dust of the quarry. 28 cuff links and 18 pendants have been sold thus far. In terms of production, 20 pendants were made in September, 25 cuff links were produced in November for a commercial order, and 50 cuff links were produced in March for retail purposes.
While Team GraphInsight is currently suspended, former team member, Michele Dallachiesa, has launched a new business. Michele’s new business, Skysense Inc., markets charging stations for Unmanned Aerial Systems, enabling the deployment of remote-managed flights and fully autonomous missions. After spending six months at Start-Up Chile, Skysense joined the first class of the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars.
OOHLALA is a mobile platform running on over 150 colleges in five countries serving over 1 million students, enabling students to interface with every aspect of their campus. OOHLALA is located in Montreal with a team of 25 people and was selected for Top 30 Under 30 in Education for Forbes Magazine in 2015.
Although EasyCheck is no longer being pursued as a business, one of the team members, Shahar Peled, started his own company called ArTack Medical. ArTack Medical is developing the “eTack,” which is a novel, motorized, articulated hernia mesh fixation device. It is designed for laparoscopic repair, as well as open surgery, and can be used with any currently available mesh. ArTack Medical is a privately held, medical device company, and is currently pursuing strategic partners in the USA and China.
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 Corporate Research Center, supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters are in Blacksburg, Virginia, USA.
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