It’s not often the grand prize entry in a showcase is kept hidden under a sheet. Then again, you wouldn’t take modesty into account at a hospital while trying to solve a sensitive medical issue like poorly inserted urinary catheters. That’s where the innovative—and hyper-realistic—training prototype from bioengineering student Alyssa Schul comes into play. The CREST Urethral Catheter Simulator earned her the $1,000 Premera Grand Prize at the 2020 Science and Technology Showcase at the University of Washington. Judges also awarded Schul a $100 Davis Wright Tremaine Best Communicator Prize at the 14th annual competition co-hosted by the Science and Engineering Business Association (SEBA) and the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.
The $500 Farah Ali FreightWeb second place prize went to Aquagga led by Mechanical Engineering PhD student Brian Pinkard. Aquagga is a device that rapidly destroys PFAS, otherwise known as “forever chemicals,” that contaminate drinking water supplies. The $300 WRF Capital third place prize went to SENSOL Systems led by a diverse team of UW graduate and undergraduate students. SENSOL, which previously won an Amazon Catalyst award through UW CoMotion, is developing a hybrid solar and LED crosswalk to dramatically improve pedestrian safety. A complete list of the other teams taking home prizes is detailed below.
This year’s event featured 18 finalist teams from a record pool of applicants. The annual showcase shines a spotlight on science- and technology-based innovations coming out of the University while providing students with the opportunity to pitch their commercial potential. Seattle-area entrepreneurs and investors served as judges and provided in-person feedback and mentorship.
Following the showcase was a campus-wide networking event with more than 100 students looking to form teams, recruit members, or develop their ideas ahead of the Buerk Center’s student competition season. Many of the STS competitors and the teams formed at the event are expected to compete in the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge on March 5, the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge on April 2, and/or the Dempsey Startup Competition (Formerly the UW Business Plan Competition) in late April and May.
Congratulations to this year’s STS award winners:
|$1,000 PREMERA BLUE CROSS GRAND PRIZE:
CREST URETHRAL CATHETER SIMULATOR
|The CREST Urethral Catheter Simulator is a hyper-realistic device for hands-on, high-quality education training to prevent traumatic urethral catheter-related injuries.|
|$500 FARAH ALI FREIGHTWEB SECOND PRIZE:
|Aquagga is a device that rapidly destroys PFAS, otherwise known as “forever chemicals,” that contaminate drinking water supplies by leveraging the properties of water.|
|$300 WRF CAPITAL THIRD PRIZE:
|SENSOL Systems is developing a hybrid solar and LED crosswalk to dramatically improve pedestrian safety. The light radius allows traffic to see a pedestrian’s exact location at a distance.|
|$100 DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE MOST INNOVATIVE PRIZE:
|AeroSpec is a hardware and software solution for manufacturing companies to monitor their workers exposure to hazardous air-based OSHA and EPA regulations|
|$100 DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE BEST COMMUNICATOR PRIZE:
CREST URETHRAL CATHETER SIMULATOR
|See description above|
|$100 DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE BEST
MARKETING STRATEGY AWARD:NOSTOS AI
|Nostos AI looks to re-invent the idea of a Walk Score in terms of home buying and renting with an AI-driven approach that analysis the opportunities for human-nature interaction.
|$100 DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC ENTREPRENEUR PRIZE:
|Spira is developing state-of-the-art machine learning to improve respiratory disease screening.|
|$100 DAVIS WRIGHT TREMAINE BEST POSTER DESIGN PRIZE:
|ApnoMed has developed FDA cleared medical devices for the prevention, management, and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.|