Global Partnership Alumni Updates

Updates on Some of the Past Global Student Challenge Finalists


US flag$25,000 Grand Prize Winner in 2016

Park & Diamond, Virginia Tech, USA

Jordan Klein and David Hall


Park & Diamond is dedicated to improving cycling safety and is excited to say that their ultraportable helmet is progressing towards production. The success and momentum from the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Entrepreneurship Challenge has led the team to continue product development, draft utility patents, participate in additional competitions, and approach marketing firms and manufacturers. In April 2017, Park & Diamond took first place and $7,500 at the Union Innovation Challenge at Virginia Tech, as well as the $100,000 grand prize at the EIX E-Fest in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They recently won the Red Bull Launchpad competition held in New York City and were accepted to the 2020 Startups NYC ( The company is headquartered in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, as they work towards a product launch of Q1 2018 to have their helmets available at the start of the cycling season. With the encouragement and guidance of VT KnowledgeWorks, they continue to progress toward their goal of making every bike ride a safe ride.

Australia flag$10,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award in 2016

Construction Cloud, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Hartley Pike, Samuel McDonnell, Tommaso Armstrong, and Jan Schroeder

Construction Cloud offers a photo library stored in the cloud for construction teams, allowing them to create a visual timeline of their project from start to finish. Construction Cloud saves the construction industry time, improves team communication, and protects companies in disputes. Since the Challenge, Construction Cloud has secured 10 paid projects, closed a $500,000 angel round, and continues to grow their team. As a result of the Challenge, they received positive media coverage, used their prize money to continue to grow their company, and completed their site visit and customer discovery with Branch Constructions, a US construction firm. They are preparing their product for global scalability and completed an accelerator program at Startmate, which is ranked one of the top five accelerators in the world.

$5,000 People’s Choice Winner in 2016

eLog, University of Kent, England

Cesare Dunker and Rayyan Sorefan


eLog continues to advance and turn their humanitarian enterprise into a reality. eLog has created a revolutionary application to help displaced people across the world fleeing political persecution and war by assisting refugees as they map their migration and provide evidence of their journey when applying for asylum. Cesare and Rayyan continue to work on the project and their team has doubled in size. Their prototype is being developed summer of 2017 within the University of Kent and the technology will be ready for testing at the end of the year. While development is underway, the entrepreneurs continue to expand their network and focus on showcasing the product to the right audience. If you wish to follow the progress of eLog, go to Team eLog is looking forward to delivering this service to the people who need it the most and thanks VT KnowledgeWorks for their support of projects around the world.

Other Finalist Mentions from the 2016 Challenge

CoatChecker, ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland: CoatChecker won two stages of Venture Kick, amounting in $30,000. CoatChecker will advance to Venture Kick’s final stage and compete for the $100,000 grand prize. Their company is founded, and they continue to work on their business model. CoatChecker is a new and innovative measuring device that can measure the thickness of sealing layers used widely in the construction sector. The device uses a new method which significantly improves measuring time and does not destroy the measured layer. It will help construction companies around the world save time and money.

Ledsreact, Ghent University, Belgium: Ledsreact released their first indoor product version around March 2017. “Direction Indoor” is a smart, interactive sports cone that will train the reaction speed and agility of athletes. It will be used in rehabilitation and sports all over the world, for example in Greece and Singapore. To learn more, go to their website at

weview, Technical University of Munich, Germany: weview, winner of the 2016 Global Challenge Virtual Preliminary, launched their website and new platform – With weview, customers can find the exact products they were looking for online by using their platform that combines user videos with personal reviews, as well as interactive elements to revolutionize the shopping experience. The company has expanded to include seven employees and raised a seed round of 300K € with two experienced business angels. The money will be spent to achieve a proof of market, validate the business model, and collect key performance indicators for a larger round of fundraising.

Thailand flag$25,000 Grand Prize Winner in 2015

Visionear, King Mongkuts University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT), Thailand

Nuntipat Narkthong, Budsapanee Pongsiriyaporn, Natthaphat Laoharawee, Gaywalee Laimloha

Two of the team members, Nuntipat and Budsapanee, are continuing to work on Visionear, smart glasses for those who are visually impaired. Visionear will incorporate this July under the name of InGarage Assistive, Co., Ltd. Currently, the new company is preparing to launch the first Visionear in its product line, which will be the mobile app for the blind. In addition to the $75,000 raised previously, the new company received an additional $55,000 in 2017 from a Thai government agency. This amount will be used to fund the effort in research and development of extra features and launching of a mobile app. They continue to expand their network with organizations for the visually impaired, as well as potential investors.

Colombia$15,000 VT KnowledgeWorks Information Technology Award in 2015

Animus, Universidad del Norte, 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.

Italy$25,000 Grand Prize Winner in 2014

feelSpace, University of Trento, Italy

Leonardo Stenico, Galena Kostoska, Alberto Parrella, Julia Wache


The feelSpace company, based on the business model of the tactile compass belt, has been founded since November 2015. Julia Wache continues to work for feelSpace. During 2016, the navigation belt hardware was further developed and financed through eXIST seed financing from Germany. In February 2017, a local investor invested 600K € into the company to secure final stages of development. feelSpace launched their first beta series in March and they are currently delivering navigation belts to their first customers. In April 2017, they participated in a major design exhibition where they presented the belt from a different angle: as an inclusive fun game for everyone. To learn more, go to their website at or contact them at [email protected].

Chile$5,000 People’s Choice Winner in 2014

DD-MOff, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 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. Recent external studies validated the technical components of their business idea, by validating the effectiveness of the product. They are currently evaluating economical options to register the product and go to market.

France$25,000 Grand Prize Winner in 2013

Auticiel, Télécom Ecole de Management, France

Sarah Cherruault, François Dupayrat


Auticiel develops innovative digital solutions to help people with cognitive and mental disabilities lead independent lives. Auticiel apps and tablets are assistive learning tools that can be adapted to the needs and abilities of each individual, such as communication, spatial-temporal references, or social skills. An experienced team of engineers design and test its solutions in collaboration with the final users and their caregivers (parents, professionals, etc.), as well as medical and educational institutions (UNAPEI, French Federation Sesame Autism, John Bost Foundation, Léopold Bellan Foundation). Development is overseen by a scientific committee composed of neuroscientists, psychologists, and speech therapists. The company delivers AMIKEO apps, the broadest range of tablet apps dedicated to children and adults with cognitive and mental disabilities, which 120,000+ users worldwide have downloaded to date. With the conclusion of a Series A round of 1M€ in early 2017, Auticiel is now expanding into the field of empowering the caregivers, whether they are professionals or not. A new set of smart tools ranging from data analytics to remote coaching enables them to better understand and leverage these digital solutions throughout their caregiving process. Auticiel has been awarded with several acknowledgements in Europe where it operates, including “Handicap and Innovation, autonomy to all ages of life and universal design,” from a national competition organized by the French Ministry of Health in February 2017. To learn more, please email [email protected] or visit

Australia$5,000 Second Place Winner in 2013

Roka, University of Technology, 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 a social microenterprise project established to improve the status of women and to increase education and economic empowerment for the women of Maranahali Bande quarry in Bangalore, India, by employing them to make jewelry. One of the original team members, Conchita, continued her passion for international development and social enterprise and has been working in India for the last few years on social entrepreneurship in underprivileged communities, while the other team members went on to work at consulting and marketing companies.

Italy$5,000 People’s Choice Winner in 2013

GraphInsight, University of Trento, Italy

Michele Dallachiesa, Gintare Simkute, Alice Porrà


GraphInsight is now an open-source project. Former team member Michele Dallachiesa has launched a new business. Skysense builds commercial-grade Drone Charging Stations and Turn-Key Solutions, based on proprietary technology, enabling businesses to deploy drones at scale, without human intervention. Skysense partners with enterprises at the forefront of the security, inspection, logistics, and defense markets. After spending six months at Start-Up Chile, Skysense joined the first class of the Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, powered by Techstars. They were the first place winners of the 2016 NASA Europe Challenge. Recently, Michele moved on to in Berlin as Senior Data Engineer.


Canada$5,000 Runner-up Team in 2011

OOHLALA Mobile, University of Toronto, Canada

Peter Cen, James Dang

OOHLALA is a mobile platform running in over 200 colleges in eight countries, enabling students to interface with every aspect of their campus. The company is already profitable, tripling in size in 2016 and two thirds of its customers sign on for three years up front. They recently participated in the Y-Combinator accelerator and raised $4 million for a Series A Round. OOHLALA is located in Montreal with a team of over 20 people and was selected for Top 30 Under 30 in Education for Forbes Magazine in 2015.


UK$25,000 Grand Prize Winner in 2010

Ecosy, Queen’s University, Northern Ireland

Colm Connolly, Vincent Murray

Although Team Ecosy’s original concept, a renewable energy heating system, is not being pursued, Colm Connolly has launched a new business. Connolly founded and successfully launched Rucksnacks in July 2016. Rucksnacks signature product is a high protein 100% Irish beef jerky snack. It has proved popular in Ireland with demand regularly outstripping supply! Since launching, Rucksnacks has started to supply local gyms and a major retailer. In 2016, Rucksnacks won the Ireland Most Innovative Packaging Award for its cracked black pepper packaging. Continuing to build on early success, Rucksnacks continues to develop and innovate continuously while working on new flavors. They only use 100% Irish beef and natural ingredients, nothing artificial! They are in the process of establishing their own production facility in Co. Monaghan, Ireland, allowing them to expand into more markets and grow, with the hopes of exporting into the USA in the future. Learn more at


$5,000 Runner-up Team in 2010

EasyCheck, Ruppin Academic Center, Israel

Shahar Peled, Hadas Geva, Inbal Gutman


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 adapted into robotic surgery platforms and used with any current available mesh. ArTack Medical is a privately held medical device company, and is currently pursuing strategic partners in the USA and China.

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