Student-developed water testing tool wins grand prize at UW Business Plan Competition, and other BIOE students honored for new business ideas
June 6, 2011 | UW Bioengineering
Three BIOE students were recently honored as part of the UW Business Plan Competition, the top student competition held by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the UW’s Michael G. Foster School of Business.
One of the students, recent doctoral program alumna Jacqueline Linnes, was part of a team of students that developed a system to facilitate water disinfection using solar energy. The team behind the PotaVida solar disinfection system won the competition’s $25,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Grand Prize. The project was also recognized with the Perkins Coie Best Innovation Idea, one of six “Best Idea” prizes, worth $2,500, that were awarded in addition to the main prizes.
BIOE doctoral students Shivang Dave and Erik Feest were also recognized in the competition. Dave and his colleagues from Materials Science and the MBA program in the Foster School were part of a team called LodeSpin Labs that was working on a medical imaging project. The project, which won a $5,000 Fenwick & West Finalist Prize, is aimed at making tracers for magnetic particle imaging, a new kind of imaging technology that could replace CT and MRI for conducting imaging on patients with heart disease and cancer.
Feest and his colleagues from the MBA program, along with BIOE faculty member Barry Lutz and others, worked on a project aimed at improving device technology to improve the handling of cerebrospinal fluid drainage in neurosurgery patients. Feest and his student team were honored with the UIEvolution Best Technology Idea, one of the $2,500 “Best Idea” awards. The project was done in partnership with Aqueduct Neurosciences, the company that Lutz and his colleague Samuel Browd, a neurosurgeon at Seattle Children’s Hospital, started to commercialize new technology in the area of cerebrospinal fluid drainage.
The PotaVida project also recently won second prize at the UW Environmental Innovation Challenge, another contest put on by the Foster School of Business, as well as a $40,000 prize in an international design competition run by the Rockefeller Foundation. The PotaVida team is working now to market the device for use in the developing world. For more information about the project, visit the PotaVida website (http://potavida.org/), or read a UW Today article about the students’ idea (http://www.washington.edu/news/articles/students2019-water-testing-tool-wins-40-000-launches-nonprofit ).