Marriott Alumni Magazine

Fall 2017

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School News of renting storage space; Torque AI, a technology that helps predict when your car needs maintenance; and OmniEarth, a fertilizer made from specially bred and fed worms. "You can see that the students at BYU are innovative and have a good program that allows them access to mentors and early capital," says Scott Petersen, executive director of the Rollins Center and chairman of the board at Omadi. "It allows them to learn the right way to start a company so they don't lose capi- tal. There are few places on the planet where you get all of these things right out of the gate." Top Cash Prize Goes to NVC Survivor Eight entrepreneurs entered the waters at this year's Shark Tank–themed New Venture Challenge (NVC). There was only one survivor. After presenting to five judges, Lee Chang, a strategy senior from Sedona, Arizona, and his company, Venga, came out with $22,000 as this year's winner of the NVC, sponsored by the Rollins Cen- ter for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Chang baited the audience with free T-shirts, clever commercials, and an enticingly practical app for renters and landlords. Through the app, property owners can create a profile with listings and photos and then set filters that include only renters who fit their criteria. Renters then scroll through the proper- ties, swiping left to reject and right to accept. When a renter and a landlord match, they can message each other via in-app messaging. "Winning tonight came with a bal- ance between confidence and humility," Chang says. "You see all your hard work pay off, but at the same time you realize how far you have to go and how small you are." In addition to the $15,000 awarded to each of the eight finalists, Chang won $5,000 for Founder's Choice and $2,000 for Crowd Favorite. Other finalists included Trash Talk, a technology that detects whether or not a trash bin is empty, increasing pickup efficiency; Neiybor, the "Airbnb version" byu Ranked No. 4 on Top Tech Transfer List BYU is one of the top five universities in the country for turning research discov- eries into new technology, products, and companies, according to a recent report. In "The Best Universities for Technol- ogy Transfer," the nonprofit think tank Milken Institute ranks BYU number four out of twenty-five research universities— ahead of Stanford, MIT, and Caltech. In fact, BYU has the highest startup score of the top ten universities ranked on the list. "BYU performed admirably across all metrics, standing out in its ability to spawn startup companies," the report Y-Prize Winners Help Cambodian Infants After nearly a year of competition, judges declared Team Cambodia the winner of the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance's Y-Prize Newborn Challenge, awarding $50,000 to a team of BYU students that presented the strongest busi- ness plan to improve and market a BYU-engineered, low-cost infant ventilator for hospitals in develop- ing countries. "We're so passionate about this project, and to get some validation from a team of judges that sees the value that we offer is motivating and humbling," says Kindall Palmer, an economics major and Team Cambodia member. Palmer and his wife, Erica, are the nucleus of Team Cambodia and were joined in the competition by fellow BYU students Stetler Eppley, Rob Brown, Ryan Moffet, and Pierce Bennett. e competition began with teams conducting research to recognize and establish evidence of the need for the respirator device. Team Cambodia's research indicated that more than three thousand infant deaths in Cambodia could be prevented by the proper use of a ventilator. As the team evaluated ways to distribute the device, its members worked to form relationships with others who were willing to lend a hand. One such partner was Stephen Minton, a neonatologist at Utah Valley Hos- pital, who brought a qualified understanding of the medical industry and the training required to ensure that hospital staff would use the ventilator correctly. With the additional funding, the team plans to finish product testing and place the ventilator within Cam- bodian hospitals by the end of 2017. To learn more about its efforts, visit neonatalrescue.org. Stephen Minton, director of the Utah Valley Hospital Newborn Intensive Care Unit, introduces the NeoLife ventilator to a group of doctors and nurses in Cambodia. First-place winner Lee Chang presents at the New Venture Challenge. 37 fall 2017

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