Last night the winners of the 2015 Tufts $100k Competition were announced. Please help us to congratulate our winners:
Audience Choice Award: Spotlight Parking LLC
Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize: Spotlight Parking LLC
AARP Foundation Prize: MySupport: The Future of Home Care
Tied for First Place: Spotlight Parking LLC and Orange Analytical Devices
Second Place: N2Cube
Life Sciences Track:
First Place: Adecto Pharmaceuticals
Second Place: MySupport: The Future of Home Care
Third Place: MicroLife
First Place: Global Literacy Project
Second Place: SolarRoute
Third Place: Knowledge Center
If you are interested in learning more about each company a summary of each can be found below.
SpotLight Parking revolutionizes the way valet parking works. Today, drivers waste time, gas, and money circling the block looking for a parking spot. By bringing valet parking to your fingertips, SpotLight enables drivers like you to simply #FindReserveRelax anywhere in the city. Behind the scenes, SpotLight’s innovative asset management technology offers an unrivaled level of efficiency for parking operators. Instead of paper tickets and cash, SpotLight-enabled valets are equipped with a mobile application that allows them to greet you by name, park your car safely and efficiently, and return it promptly – accepting your pre-registered credit card for payment. VPNE Parking Solutions, the largest parking operator in New England, is the first to adopt the technology, and will power SpotLight’s operations through launch. With several other partnerships in the final stages of negotiation, SpotLight is poised to become the preferred parking solution for drivers and valets across the nation.
SpotLight Parking Team: Michael Miele, A15 | Karan Singhal, E15 | Joseph Price, A2000 |Jaime Sanchez E15
Orange Analytical Devices
Since the legalization of marijuana in Colorado in Late 2012 the legal marijuana market has grown explosively to become a $1.3 billion market. The unprecedented market expansion is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, with an expected market size of $10 billion by 2018. Orange Photonics is poised to meet the needs of the growers, retailers and regulators fueling this market expansion. We have created a portable, low-cost and simple marijuana potency analyzer that can measure tetrahydrocannibinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), key components that can help differentiate products. Strains high in THC or CBD can yield double the revenue as less sought after varietals. The Orange Photonics flexible analytical platform can be easily reconfigured to serve numerous markets in multiple capacities, providing further growth opportunity. These markets include cosmetics, petroleum and tobacco.
Orange Analytical Devices Team: Dylan Wilks, G14 | Stephanie McArdle
N2Cube is an enclosed, kitchen appliance which provides a preservative-free environment that naturally extends the shelf-life of fragile foods. The average family of 4 wastes upwards of $2,300 annually on squandered food. This fact clearly illustrates a new approach for consumers to be able to store their valued purchases. The N2Cube is for the specialized storage of baked items such as muffins, cupcakes and chips. There has been a year-over-year increase in the market size for small appliances. Our BPA-free, unique countertop appliance is approximately one cubic foot with a clear door that allows the customer to see their fresh food. It uses a replaceable cartridge to purge the oxygen in the cube using safe, inert nitrogen, thus extending the life of the food. The N2Cube will be a huge success for families saving their food and their money. The N2Cube: Keep your food fresher, longer.
N2Cube Team: Patrick Mulcahy, G16 | Michael McNulty | Khaled Aly | Paetrice Jones | Edgar Cuji
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) represents only 15% of breast tumor cases but is highly metastatic, and accounts for more than 25% of the 500,000 breast cancer deaths yearly worldwide. Current treatment options for TNBC are restricted to chemotherapy and radiation, which are insufficient to block tumor progression, relapse or metastatic dissemination, and have severe side effects. Thus, there is an urgent need for new therapeutic regimens for TNBC. We have recently identified and validated in breast cancer mouse models, a non-essential protein on the surface of TNBC cells that drives their metastases. Adecto Pharmaceuticals is developing new antibodybased therapeutics targeting this accessible protein for TNBC treatment. This new therapy could revolutionize treatment modalities for TNBC patients by providing safe, effective interventions to reduce the mortality associated with these highly aggressive tumors.
Adecto Pharmaceuticals Team: Nora D. Mineva, Postdoctoral Fellow, Tufts University School of Medicine | Gail E. Sonenshein, Professor, Tufts University | Sonia Das, Postdoctoral Fellow, Sackler School of Biomedical Science | Stefania Pianetti, Research Associate, Sackler School of Biomedical Science
MySupport helps seniors, families, and people with disabilities find support workers that match their values and manage these ongoing support relationships over time. Geared towards the Medicaid market, MySupport helps consumers and workers simplify the entire process by asking targeted questions around what they’re looking for to help both sides find their best matches. MySupport is at its core an integral service for agencies to help them facilitate these long-term relationships, enabling them to take a more hands-off approach while saving money and increasing their consumer’s satisfaction. Although the Medicaid market is large, the community itself is very small and we have been able to leverage our team and our advisors’ decades of disability policy experience at the national level, along with our connections to the grassroots disability community, to create a unique product that has resonated very strongly with all stakeholders involved.
MySupport Team: Yin Lin, A11 | Ari Ne’eman | Nelson Chu | Maria Town
Millions of children die and suffer from profound disabilities due to brain damage caused at birth. MicroLife is developing a low cost and miniaturized tool to accurately measure vital characteristics of blood flow in the brain of infants. Oximetry, which involves the use of non-invasive optical techniques to measure changes in tissue optical properties associated with brain activity, is a well-known method. Conventional cerebral oximeter instruments use bulky, power-hungry components that are not suited for miniaturization. By combining complex signal detection and processing circuitry on a single piece of silicon using microchip technology, The MicroLife chip will enable the realization of a unique class of portable cerebral oximeter instruments with a transformative impact on the field of pediatric neuroscience and early detection of developmental disorders in infants.
MicroLife Team: Chirag Sthalekar, G14 | Valencia Koomson, Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering, Tufts University
More than 770 million people in the world are non-literate. The cost of illiteracy to the global economy is $1.19T annually. Traditional solutions, such as building schools and handing out books, are costly, slow and will not reach the 100 million children who need an education now. The Global Literacy Project emerged from a radical way of thinking about education and technology from a team of experts committed to the right of every child to a high-quality education. After field testing our Curious Learning System in 5 countries we discovered: children, guided by their own curiosity, can teach themselves early literacy skills using mobile devices. The Curious Learning System tracks how children learn and provides information valuable to schools, governments, and other organizations interested in eradicating illiteracy. The Global Literacy project will reach 100 million people within a decade and by doing so, will dramatically reduce global poverty.
Global Literacy Project Team: Stephanie Gottwald, Assistant Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University | Tinsley Galyean, Executive Director of the Global Literacy Project| Miriam Nelson, Associate Dean of Tisch College | Maryanne Wolf, Director of the Tufts Center for Reading and Language Research
SolarRoute bridges the last mile gap in developing markets in order to alleviate energy poverty among base of the pyramid households. The issue with access to electricity rests not in a lack of solution or affordability, but a lack of distribution and access. Access is difficult and costly because consumers live at the last mile in geographic and economic isolation, with little access to resources, technology and services to lift themselves out of poverty—including energy poverty. SolarRoute recruits and trains solar sales agents with optimal last mile reach in order to create convenient and consistent point of sales for the consumer. SolarRoute works with agrochemical stores, microbanks, top-up cell credit distributors, and rural kiosks in order to offer sustainable lighting technologies to the two million under-electrified consumers in Nicaragua. SolarRoute is currently headquartered out of Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Please visit solarroute.org or follow @Solar- Route on Twitter for more information and updates.
SolarRoute Team: Morgan Babbs, A15 | James Downer, A15
The Knowledge Centers are 24x7 Wi-Fi enabled rooms connecting children in low-income countries with information, opportunities, and educational resources. Students living in smaller towns and villages of low-income countries have limited or no access to educational resources such as books, newspapers, magazines, the Internet and sometimes even a proper study room. Most such places don’t have libraries either and even if they do, the libraries aren’t well equipped. The Knowledge Centers are solving this problem with 24x7 Wi-Fi enabled multipurpose rooms. The Knowledge Centers are on a mission to connect every single child with books and laptops to use or rent, free access to printers and scanners, newspapers and magazines and a place to study with friends. The Knowledge Centers are helping communities overcome financial and geographical constraints enabling millions of students to use world-class facilities to learn irrespective of where they come from.
Knowledge Center Team: Sharad Sagar A16
Congratulations to all!