Lehigh has announced the winners of the 2009-2010 Eureka! Ventures Competition Series, a university-wide program that annually recognizes and awards student entrepreneurs.
The awards came during Global Entrepreneurship Week, a five-day celebration of innovation at Lehigh.
The Eureka! Ventures Competition Series includes the Joan F. and John M. Thalheimer ‘55 Student Entrepreneurship Competition and the Michael W. Levin ‘87 Advanced Technology Award.
The high quality of this year’s submissions, says Lisa Getzler-Linn, director of the Lehigh Entrepreneurs Network and the Eureka! Ventures Competition Series, resulted in a three-way tie for first prize in the Thalheimer contest.
“This year’s competitors were among the best we’ve had,” says Getzler-Linn, “and we owe that to the support that the Lehigh community has given us over the past few years.”
Todd Watkins, professor of economics in the College of Business and Economics, agreed.
“We were delighted with the increased depth and quality of applications this year to the Eureka! programs,” said Watkins, who directs the the university’s entrepreneurship program.
From safe insulin transport to vanity mirrors
The winners in this year’s Thalheimer contest were:
DiaTech, the brainchild of Eric Feinstein ’10, who developed a portable protection sleeve for glass vials, allowing diabetes patients to transport insulin safely and efficiently.
Goodsemester, an interactive, Web-based educational tool created by David Gritz ‘11 and Jason Rappaport ‘12. Goodsemester includes a variety of social networking features that allow users to collaborate and exchange information in real-time. Beginning in January, the application will be piloted in the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) freshman workshop.
Mirror Go Lightly, a compact vanity mirror developed by Brian Berzin ‘11 and Nathan Bowser ’12, which uses daylight-colored, high-powered LED technology. The LED lighting better reflects actual colors, giving an advantage to women reapplying make-up. Berzin and Bowser have already fielded requests from high-end cosmetic lines about Mirror Go Lightly and plan to use the LED technology in other products.
Each first-place winner in the Thalheimer contest received $2,500 to develop their plans. The competition considers proposals focusing on innovative ventures and early stage business plans.
The Levin competition awards students who need capital to develop their technology. Richard Arlow ‘09 and Zachary Bloom ‘09, ‘10G, took first place for their LifeServe Innovations
, which won last year’s Thalheimer competition. Arlow and Bloom have received almost $20,000 in the past year from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance to develop LifeServe Innovations’ SMART Kit
A third contest for student entrepreneurs, the Social Venture Creation Competition, which was launched last year, will be held this winter. Winners will be announced in February during National Entrepreneurship Week.
Winners in the Thalheimer, Levin and Social Venture competitions receive monetary awards and are invited to participate in a semester-long innovation workshop, during which student teams with professional mentors develop their business plans with the help of the Small Business Development Center
Watkins said the first-ever celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week at Lehigh “is one more sign of the strong progress we’ve seen in recent years in entrepreneurial interest and thinking among students.
“Our introductory courses in entrepreneurship have been filled beyond capacity the last couple of years. We’re adding sections and courses next semester and also revamping our undergraduate entrepreneurship minor to make it more flexible and hands-on.”
Global Entrepreneurship Week also celebrated Lehigh’s new Innovation and Leadership Residency (ILR
) program and featured an open house and review of business plans presented by students in entry-level entrepreneurship and other courses.