Potential On Display at Science & Technology Showcase (STS)
Judges had stress on their mind at the 2023 Science and Technology Showcase (STS) at the University of Washington—but not in the way you might think. They awarded team nomi the $2,000 Electronic Arts Grand Prize for its approach to creating effective, accessible, and engaging stress recognition and intervention tools. Team nomi hopes to impact not just the day-to-day work life of millions, but to also address the long-term impact stress can have on the body. Team nomi also won the $200 Davis Wright Tremaine Best Pitch Prize at the 17th annual event co-hosted by the UW Science and Engineering Business Association (SEBA) and the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.
The showcase places a spotlight on science- and technology-based innovations coming out of UW. The STS also provides students the opportunity to pitch their commercial potential to Seattle-area entrepreneurs and investors serving as judges.
The $1,000 WRF Capital Second Place Prize went to team groundBlu for its water purification technology. Team groundBlu seeks to create a scalable, low energy-cost solution to provide safe drinking water in increasingly water scarce areas around the world. The team was also awarded the $200 Davis Wright Tremaine Most Enthusiastic Entrepreneur Prize.
The $700 Buerk Center Third Place Prize went to team nanoFLASH for its low-cost, simplified device for producing nanoparticles for research and drug development. The team also won the $200 Davis Wright Tremaine Most Innovative Prize.
In addition to those noted above, two additional category prizes were awarded on a night when early-stage ideas took home nearly $5,000 in funding. The $200 Davis Wright Tremaine Best Poster Prize went to SleeveAI. The team is developing a dynamic diagnostic tool that can be used to address knee pain, injuries, and rehabilitation in a cost-effective and impactful way.
Judges awarded team Mezzo the $200 Davis Wright Tremaine Best Market Strategy Prize for its end-to-end planning service that utilizes customer schedules and preferences to building convenient recommendations for meetups. Mezzo previously took home the $200 Davis Wright Tremaine Prize for Most Enthusiastic Entrepreneurs at the 2021 STS and was a finalist (Top-36) team in the 2021 Dempsey Startup Competition.
The 2023 Science & Technology Showcase featured 11 finalist teams who now have the feedback and connections to potentially move forward with their ideas by applying to upcoming competitions like the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge (application deadline January 30), the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge (application deadline Feb. 13) and the multi-stage Dempsey Startup Competition (application pending) that takes place in mid-April and May.
Recent STS competitors include Ultropia (2022), Puget Buoy (2021), Aquagga (2020), AeroSpec (2020), SENSOL Systems (2020), ApnoMed (2020), Spira (2020), Nanodropper (2019), Chibage Chip (2019), Lonely Produce (2019), Otogear (2018), A-Alpha Bio (2017), PlayGait (2017), EpiForAll (2017), mIPS Labs (2016), and many others who have gone on to launch, earn investments, and/or earn additional prize money in the Buerk Center competitions listed above, as well as the Jones + Foster Accelerator.
The Buerk Center and SEBA wish to thank all of this year’s sponsors and prize presenters: Electronic Arts, Washington Research Foundation Capital (WRF Capital), and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.
Science & Technology Showcase Finalist Teams (in alphabetical order)
Advanced Multi-Organ Rejuvenation (AMOR)
- AMOR aims to improve liver support systems through greater detoxification while addressing the issues of liver failure worldwide.
- ColibriAgrotech is working on an innovative way to address excessive fertilizer use and runoff contamination in the agricultural system.
- Ground is developing an innovative way for therapists and their clients to collaborate outside of sessions.
- groundBlu seeks to create a highly-scalable, low energy-cost water purification technology to provide safe drinking water in increasingly water scarce areas around the world.
- Innovation Pillow is developing a product aimed at addressing insomnia, sleep quality, snoring, and drowsiness.
MasterEd: Network Automation Learning Community
- MasterEd is developing a network management tool for engineers to learn, collaborate, and help each other with network automation.
- MedikEquip is focused on solving reliability, safety, and usage issues related to the devices used by caregivers to transfer, reposition, or mobilize patients.
- Mezzo offers an end-to-end planning service that utilizes customer schedules and preferences to building convenient recommendations for meetups.
- nanoFLASH is working on a low-cost, simplified device for producing nanoparticles for research and drug development.
- nomi is working on a way to create effective, accessible, and engaging stress recognition and intervention tools.
- SleeveAI hopes to develop a dynamic diagnostic tool that can be used to address knee pain, injuries, and rehabilitation in a cost-effective and impactful way.