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Video: Teams of student entrepreneurs pitch world-changing ideas

May 11, 2016

Katherine Olson of team iWaste, a senior majoring in environmental science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Katherine Olson of team iWaste presents
Along with her team, iWaste, Katherine Olson, a senior majoring in environmental science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, outlines an energy-producing idea at the eighth annual VT KnowledgeWorks competition.

You can roll it up and stuff it into a water bottle, yet it can save the life of a cyclist. A revolutionary, pocket-sized bike helmet took the grand prize of $15,000 in scholarships in the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Entrepreneurship Challenge Semifinals at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center earlier this semester.

The winning team, Park and Diamond, composed of College of Engineering students David Hall of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, and Jordan Klein of Tarrytown, New York, a senior majoring in engineering science and mechanics, also earned summer workspace at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center. Hall and Klein will represent Virginia Tech at the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Student Entrepreneurship Challenge in August, where they will compete on a world stage for a $25,000 grand prize.

The $5,000 Information Technology Award for the most outstanding intangible product or service went to Haven, made up of Pamplin College of Business students Emily Wills of Mechanicsville, Virginia, a freshman majoring in marketing management, and Ruby Kang of Vienna, Virginia, a sophomore majoring in accounting and information systems and finance; College of Architecture and Urban Studies student Kirby Emerson of Mercer Island, Washington, a sophomore majoring in industrial design; and College of Engineering student Reed Koser of McClean, Virginia, a freshman majoring in engineering. Haven's product is wearable technology designed to provide fast, reliable alerts to emergency responders and family members.

Audience members selected David Evans of Groton, Massachusetts, a junior majoring in electrical engineering in the College of Engineering, and Patrick Acker, of Midlothian, Virginia, a senior majoring in industrial and systems engineering in the Pamplin College of Business, for the People’s Choice award of $5,000 in scholarships. Their invention, Yard Mapper, is designed to track trailers and shipping containers at distribution centers. The team also won the inaugural Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) InVenture Prize to advance to the ACC InVenture Prize competition in Atlanta.

Get the full story from this two-minute video news report.

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