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Best Hardware Startups from Innovation Tournament

05 Jul 2016

Noosphere strives to create an ecosystem where young engineers can collaborate with experienced veterans and scientists to present unique ideas to the world. The Noosphere Engineering School is constantly looking for ways to interact with students and facilitate their desire to develop their own engineering projects.

The Student Innovation Tournament was held with the support of the Noosphere Engineering School from the 23rd to 25th of June, 2016. Students of the Dnipropetrovsk National University and Dnipropetrovsk National University of Railway Transport, Ukraine met for the duel. The competitors received guidance and support from the panel of judges and mentors, and were given the chance to bring projects to life which could improve the infrastructure of the Universities.

The panel of judges were comprised of Noosphere representatives and academic science staff including:

Michael Ryabokon, Co-Founder, Noosphere; Yuriy Letser, Chief Executive Officer, Maxima Labs; Dmitry Maydanyuk, Project Manager, Maxymizely; Anatoliy Kosolapov, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor; and Alexander Baev, Ph.D., Sr. Engineer, Samsung R&D Institute Ukraine and founder of SpinOffHack.

“Engineers create hardware products, and the process requires a lot of knowledge. It is important to give young specialists the opportunity to start their way to success when they are still students. When students graduate, they should be more confident. They should start working and become young specialists, who progress up the career ladder” – said Michael Ryabokon, Co-Founder of Noosphere.

When the tournament started, the students were split into 5 teams. Each team had to complete four stages which would be presented to the judges:

  • Stage 1. Idea generation – Some participants came with their own ideas, others came up with them at the competition.

  • Stage 2. Idea viability check – Experienced mentors were on hand to answer questions from the students and advise them in developing their ideas and managing the project.

  • Stage 3. Prototype creation – Teams created prototypes based on their ideas that incorporated the recommendations from the mentors. Organizers also provided participants with all necessary tools and equipment, including breadboards, connectors, transducers, sensors, wifi modules, LCD screens, and Arduino chips to complete their prototypes.

  • Stage 4. Pitching – The judges evaluated the prototypes on a scale of one to five in several categories: usefulness, feasibility, adaptability, progress, project team, and the quality of presentation.

When the results came in, fifth place went to the project StudSud – a student Wikipedia and electronic cheat sheet, which helps organize information for students.

Fourth place went to the StudRide team. The team worked on a prototype of a device which helps cyclists automatically park their bikes. The students also presented an idea to create a network of student rental stations located on university campuses and in city parks.

The Sungather team took third place. They presented a solar energy conversion system aimed to provide academic buildings and University rooms with solar electricity and heat.

Second place was taken home by the Electronic Key team. The participants created a prototype for a personal electronic identifier. This device could automate the tracking of attendance at lectures and practical classes. In addition, the device could provide access to other information sources through RFID and ESP.

The grand prize at the Innovation tournament went to the POWER BOX team. POWER BOX is a prototype for an adapter that can store and charge many different types of electronic devices. The team hopes that the POWER BOX will someday be placed in libraries, railway stations and airports.

The two winning teams, POWER BOX, and Electronic Key, both received the maximum allowable points from the jury. As a result, they both received grants to develop their prototypes and 3-month internships at the Noosphere Engineering School.

We believe that more and more young engineers will create their own projects by bringing together science and business and that the Innovation Tournament will be a significant milestone on their way to success.