After months of work, reach-outs and strategizing, April 12th finally came; the final event for the first official semester of InnovateEDU. The event, which we coined ‘Ignite’, was designed to be a showcase of the work our incredible teams had done over the semester to solidify their own startup ideas, with a bit of a competitive spin as well.
After the networking event, and with the audience all in place, we began the pitch. In case you missed it, the ideas are posted below.
- Bastion (BU) : The first pitch was by the BU team, which was an chrome extension focused on monetizing digital exhaust on the internet. The pitch highlighted the fact that major companies are profiting off of your browsing data, and Bastion attempted to undermine this by providing mid-size, college student-targeting companies college student data for a price, and distributing a fraction of that price to pay college students using the service. The student could then use the money generated by turning on the extension to redeem for rewards in an online marketplace
- TwoCan (Northeastern): Following up the BU pitch was Northeastern’s TwoCan, which was an initiative that focused on digitizing conference conversation. For instance, in many cases at conferences, a formality is to exchange information via business cards. However, they envisioned a device that traded contact information between each user by a simple ‘tap’. This would reduce the prevalence of awkward encounters when individuals simply don’t have business cards available, and would ease the social climate at conferences.
- Conci (Emerson): Up next was Emerson’s team; Conci. They capitalized on a problem a lot of college students such as myself face, which has to do with the fact that we are simply too busy to plan out big nights out. We tend to stay in the same habits and routines with the same people because it requires minimal effort. Conci would eliminate this by offering a platform for users to have nights planned for them. For a subscription fee, users could use this to have a clear plan for the weekend with no effort taken, and their idea to start this in Boston puts them right on the doorstep of over 50 colleges, along with plenty of young professionals.
- CorrectForm(MIT): Finally, to round it off we had the MIT team, which presented a really interesting technological solution to everyday gym goers. For those who are new to working out, or who were never taught properly, a major problem with working out is having poor technique. This is a major cause of workout-related injuries, and many people turn to personal trainers to combat this issue. However, given the cost of personal trainers, and the fact that some people might not be comfortable with trainers, MIT developed a shirt with embedded sensors that connects to an app, which monitors your form for various workouts, and warns you if that form is off and how to correct it.
As a director, I was incredibly proud to showcase these well thought out ideas as our first cohort of startups. In the end, the BU team was able to take home the trophy (an actual trophy) from the reviews of our esteemed panel of judges, which ranged from VC’s to tech founders to incubator directors. We are excited to see who the trophy will get passed to in the Fall 2017 competition!
Mainly, we are really excited about pushing students across Boston to collaborate. Going to school in a city like this really is a privilege, and being a part of such an incredible, for-students-by-students initiative that is making the landscape in Boston that much better is truly rewarding. We are excited to see these ventures take off, and see how far we can push the reach of this program.
If you are a University or Company interested in getting involved moving forward, check out our website at https://www.innovateedu.org/ and send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check us out on Facebook at @innovateedu.boston and follow us on Twitter at @innovate_edu