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School of Engineering

Engineers win big at $100k Competition

Monday, April 10, 2017
Engineering students and faculty delivered winning pitches at the 2017 $100k New Ventures Competition, hosted by Tufts Gordon Institute.
Team Tarsier poses with the check for their winning pitch.
The Tarsier team poses with their prize after winning first place in the Healthcare/Life Science track.

The $100k New Ventures Competition is the annual Tufts University startup pitch contest. The competition awards promising ventures in three tracks: General/High Tech, Social Impact, and Healthcare/Life Science. This year, School of Engineering students and faculty on a number of winning teams were recognized for their innovative proposals.

Tarsier took the top prize in the Healthcare/Life Science track, with its accurate and accessible headset that can aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of glaucoma. Their system eliminates several layers of bias and gives medical professionals higher-quality data to make more informed decisions about their patients. The five seniors on the team—Jorge Anton Garcia, Erika Marmol, Jessica Morales, Andre C. Newland, and Terence Tufuor—are all majoring in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or computer science. They first conceived of Tarsier as a capstone project in their Senior Design Project class.

Second place in the Healthcare/Life Science track went to OnGuard, which is a concussion detection and early warning system that instantly informs parents, coaches, and athletic trainers of potential concussions, using a small sensor that athletes wear behind their ear. OnGuard was pitched by Yihan Hu, Barton Liang, Patricia O'Connor, and Paget Stanco, all of whom are pursing a M.S. in innovation and management at Tufts Gordon Institute.

A team of Engineering and Arts & Sciences students won second place in the Social Impact track with their product line, -sPARK+. -sPARK+ products harness children's mechanical energy and convert it into electricity, both adding a competitive gaming aspect to play structures and providing an art installation for the surrounding area. Team members included mechanical engineers Richard Ding and Hermes Suen, E19, working alongside Eddie Futterman, Tommaso Lombardi, Nate Silberman, and Zach Zager from the School of Arts & Sciences.

In the General/High Tech track, Cambridge Crops won second place and Lithio Storage was awarded third place. Led by Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto, Cambridge Crops has developed an innovative biomaterial coating able to naturally extend the shelf life of perishable foods and thus reduce food loss. Other team members included Jacques Grislain, Benedetti Marelli, and Livio Valenti.

Lithio Storage is a team of three chemical engineering Ph.D. candidates—Anthony D'Angelo, Huan Qin, and Elliot Taylor—working with Fletcher School students Ignacio Obejero-Paz and Daphne Warlamis. They're utilizing a laboratory-developed ion gel electrolyte to fabricate batteries that are safer, more flexible, and last longer on a single charge.