Student innovations wow judges in Science & Technology Showcase

Co-hosted by the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship and student club Science & Engineering Business Association (SEBA), the annual Science & Technology Showcase on Jan. 21, 2016, brought student innovators from across campus together in a tradeshow-style competition. Student innovators gave 60-second pitches to a panel of judges — Seattle-area entrepreneurs and investors — as well as talking with them one-on-one to answer questions. These students’ expertise ranged from biomedical engineering to Human Centered Design and Engineering.

Prizes totaling $2,300 were distributed to eight of the 19 teams who competed in the showcase.

$1,000 Grand Prize, sponsored by WTIA: Z-ion+ Technologies, from Marvin Mecwan, Ruying Chen and Marleny Santos
Z-ion+ Technologies tackles End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) by prolonging the life of all implant hematology and cardiovascular related devices using gas plasma coating technology. The coating can be applied to vascular grafts and prevent proteins from sticking the graft surface, preventing clots. Hemodialysis treatment, including vascular access or AV grafts, costs an average of $89,000 per patient annually in the United States. In 2015, 650,000 patients were treated for ESRD and nearly 400,000 of those patients were treated with hemodialysis. Currently, 50 percent of all AV grafts clot within the first year and 75 percent clot by the second year.

$500 Second Place Prize, sponsored by UW’s Institute for Simulation and Interprofessional Studies: miPS Labs, from Alex Jiao, Ned Whalen, Aakash Sur, Jenna Strully, Rob Thomas
miPS Labs is creating consumer-focused collections and preservation of healthy adult cells for future use in stem cell therapies. miPS Labs focuses on the collection of young, healthy cells that have less of the DNA degeneration and mutation that occurs naturally as we age.

$300 Third Place Prize, sponsored by WRF: Salixae, from Ronald Cuie II
Agrobacterium tumefaciens, a bacterium used to introduce foreign genes into plants’ genomes, can negatively impact plants. The process of foreign gene introduction is also very expensive and time consuming. Salixae provides a new technique to shorten the length of the process from an average of 8-14 months to an average of 6-12 weeks and transform the plant without cell death.

Also awarded were five best idea prizes sponsored by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

Best Market Strategy: Fountain of Tooth, from Jason Miklas and Hannele Ruohola-Baker
Fountain of Tooth cryopreserves adult stem cells and uses mesenchymal stem cell banking. The cells are preserved from third molars (“wisdom teeth”) which are usually thrown away as medical waste.

Best Poster: Night Light, from Adam Riddle
Night Light is an augmented crosswalk created with a series of lasers, allowing better visibility for pedestrians at night.

Best Communicator: EMOBIE, from Lindsay Arnold
EMOBIE is an affordable social robot platform for children that facilitates storytelling, calms and comforts, and provides an external feedback loop of emotions for children who have anxiety, autism or other emotional/behavioral needs.

Most Enthusiastic: Eta1, from Ryan Ahearn, Tessa Gome, Leila Asfari and Jack Kamel
Eta1 provides a solution to fuel efficiency needs. The inexpensive and easy-to-implement method, Heat Energy Return (HER), captures wasted heat from an engine’s exhaust and allows vehicles to use less fuel.

Most Innovative: Phase4, from Kurt Kung, Xinying Zeng, Lucas DuSablon, Khang Lee, Dario Toso and Jason Huang
This patented “filterless filter” exploits a process similar to the first step of photosynthesis to split water into two regions: a zone of water pure of suspended particles, salt, heavy metals, bacteria, and toxins, and the excess water. The pure water, called the Exclusion Zone (EZ), is extractable for use as clean potable water.