Show, don’t tell. It’s the mantra of the 21st Century Marketer. It’s also a great way to share student entrepreneurship in action. Please enjoy this photo diary from the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge held on March 1, 2017. Included quotes are from actual students who participated at the event.
If you missed it, a recap of the event and all the winners can be found here on the Foster Blog, on Geekwire, and Xconomy. The Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge was also the subject of a feature on UW360 and scheduled to air on KOMO-TV during the Summer of 2017.
2017 Grand Prize Winner EpiForAll
“When we won the Health Innovation Challenge, all professionalism that we had been channeling for the past 4 hours was gone. We lept off the ground and audibly exclaimed our joy as we walked on stage to receive our check…”
“…Our countless hours to get to that point had paid off, and we did not try to hide our excitement.” – Shawn Swanson, Materials Science and Engineering student. EpiForAll competed for the second year in a row after making improvements to its affordable emergency epinephrine auto injector that uses inexpensive, easily-replaced ampules.
2017 Second Place Prize winner BWB Anesthesia
“Preparing our business plan for the HIC and receiving feedback and support from folks in the healthcare industry was extremely valuable for our team…”
“…but the best part of the HIC was getting to hold a giant cardboard check! It was a big surprise and an honor to have been voted 2nd place by the judges.” – Eric Swanson, graduate student researcher in Bioengineering. BWB Anesthesia showcased their electricity-free portable anesthetic device that aims to improve access to inhaled anesthesia in low-resource settings.
Third Place Prize winners PlayGait(TM)
“Many of the judges really wanted to see our device succeed in the market and thus gave us connections to industry experts. They also gave us excellent feedback regarding how to improve our business model and expand our addressable market…”
I think my favorite part about the HIC was being able to demo and share my vision for PlayGait(TM) to a huge audience and see many of them also get excited about the potential for PlayGait(TM) to improve the walking ability for kids with neuromuscular disorders around the world.” – Jessica Zistatsis, Mechanical Engineering student.
“Participating in the HIC was really encouraging. Our product went through the UW CoMotion Innovation Fund, but the experience still felt like a rigorous academic exercise. Having industry influencers approach us with serious questions and offers of sincere advice and personal time confirmed buy-in for our approach and product. It is a great way to showcase innovations and get critical feedback from very experienced industry professionals.” – Archana Agrawal, BA (Hons), CIMA, PMP, MSP, Evening MBA Student 2018.
“Judges Also Really Liked” award winner ACBI
“We were developing a device to address a well-defined clinical need for six months but weren’t sure about the business model and its commercial viability. The feedback from judges having industrial experience strengthened our some of the assumptions and at same time punched a few holes in the business model. Further, the success in HIC helped us to have fruitful connections with the other entrepreneurs in healthcare sector…”
“…I personally benefited from the experience of the competition. It made me a credible candidate for ITHS Summer Commercialization Fellowship (managed by the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship, with support from ITHS, WRF, and CoMotion) and played a great role in getting the fellowship.” – Akshay Randad, Master of Science (1st Year) Mechanical Engineering. ACBI developed an automated continuous bladder irrigation process for urology patients post-surgery.
“Judges Also Really Liked” award winner Quinton PHSH
“This was our second time in the HIC, so we were excited to see some of the same judges and share how much progress we have made in a year! I had a hectic start to the day because the adapter cable we brought for our computer monitor stopped working right before we started practicing our pitches on stage. Luckily, the support staff at the event saved the day with a replacement cable!”
“…I was able to clear my mind from worrying about these little hiccups and focus on the pitch. Thanks for a great experience!” – Beth Halsne, Rehabilitation Science student. Quinton PHSH developed a belt that is able to provide stoma protection and abdominal wall support against herniation.
Flyway Health, student team from University of Washington
“It was inspiring to see so many great ideas from our peers to solve challenging health problems. The judges provided valuable feedback to us that we can use to improve our idea…”
“…I made connections at the HIC with judges and classmates that continue to benefit my education and career!” – Joanna Diallo, Foster School of Business student. Flyway Health is a non-profit student venture that pairs mentors who have faced cancer with newly diagnosed patients and provides resources to help them share in decision-making with their providers.
CathEase, student team from University of Washington
“I was amazed to discover the level of interest the judges had in our project and how much they wanted to help us succeed.” – Albert Nguyen, graduate student in Bioengineering. CathEase designed a method for preventing infections in peritoneal dialysis and improving ease of use for the procedure.
JEMS Tech, student team from University of Washington
“The HIC was a wonderful learning experience to our team. We were really overwhelmed by the response and appreciation that our idea received, considering that it was in its early stage. It was a platform for us to validate our assumptions and gave us the confidence to present our ideas with clarity. We would like to thank the Buerk Center for this opportunity.” – Shruthi Mohan, graduate student in Bioengineering. JEMS Tech is automating blood collection for clotting test measurements taken during cardiac procedures, improving medical decisions and saving procedure time.
Behind The Scenes: Setting Up for the Challenge
“We’re all set up and waiting to go on for Pitch Practice!” via @Kule_Tech on Twitter, a student team from Washington State University. The team developed a robust and easy to use tool for pasteurizing milk in developing countries to prevent emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Drew Beland, UW graduate student in Physical Therapy, setting up the SwayPlate balance board prototype. SwayPlate hopes to improve preventative care for the elderly through regular screening of a person’s balance.
You can’t make your technology work without a little bit of calibration. OstomyTech from UW showed judges how they wanted to empower patients to manage their own stoma with remote medical supervision and care.
Blythe Adamson, UW graduate student in Pharmacy, took a moment to smile after setting up the SmartDx display. The elaborate design aimed to show judges how SmartDx can improve rapid medical testing using cloud connectivity.
Behind The Scenes: Pitch Practice and Welcome Reception
Members of the Strive team from Washington State University supported each other during pitch practice hours before the actual “60-second pitch” teams would be judged on. Strive created a sleeve-like device designed for non-professional athletes who experience muscle soreness in the shoulder.
Behind The Scenes: Judging
Judges take the process very seriously inside the judging room as they score each team after visiting their booths and hearing their pitches. Judges at the Health Challenge include entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, mentors, and competition alumni.
Judges are encouraged to give feedback during the competition and many follow-up later as teams progress and engage other competitions and programs. Pictured here is Foster School of Business student David Bao and chemistry student Zong Guo from Indie Harvest responding to questions about their smart-farming technology.
Some teams like Health Insurance Value Calculator opted to not create a poster, and instead use technology to display their methodology to judges. Pictured here is Foster School of Business student Ethan Shen, who helped create the web-based tool to help customers and brokers compare the value of insurance plans based on statistical projection of likely outcomes.
Others, including Foster School of Business student Woosung Jung, showed off wearable technology like MeMinder’s wrist-mounted phone that is meant to be worn by people with dementia.
While teams like Pear Medical balanced an interactive “augmented reality” demo with face-to-face pitches to judges. Pear Medical is developing Bosc, a virtual and mixed reality neurological imaging tool to drastically improve diagnosis and pre-operative planning for surgeons.
Students were also faced with explaining exactly what their prototypes do. Chemical engineering student Nhu Nguyen wtih FistUSeal explained to this judge how her team is introducing a streamlined solution for isolating fistula from surrounding wound tissue to improve healing rates and ultimately, patient independence.
Judges also had the challenge of sometimes hearing different pitches from the same student. Pictured here is Bioengineering student Purushothaman Padmanabhan, who was on both the Cognitive Heart and CathEase teams.
Judges at the event also included sponsors like Timmie Hollomon and her family. The longtime Husky supporters contributed an 8-year, $1 million dollar naming gift in support of student creativity and innovation focused on health and healthcare.
From The Sidelines: The Awards Ceremony
Student teams and judges received a treat at the beginning of the awards ceremony. 2016 grand prize winners Katherine Brandenstein and Emily Willard of Engage, second place prize winner Alex Jiao of Silene Biotech, and third place prize winner Brian Mogen of MultiModal Health updated the room on their progress over the last year.
The brief presentations on stage were in front of a packed house that had just wrapped up three hours of judging and pitching.
One of the highlights of the awards portion, besides the giant checks, is the opportunity for students to receive their prize directly from a sponsor. Longtime Buerk Center supporter Michael Bauer of the Herbert B. Jones Foundation handed out the $10,000 second place prize.
After the awards were given out, teams had a chance to interview with the media. Pictured here is Clare McGrane of Geekwire, who wrote a detailed recap of the event and shared what each student team hopes to accomplish next in their journey as entrepreneurs.