Rothman Institute Presents Awards at Inaugral FDU Innovation Challenge
Madison, NJ (June 2, 2008) -- The Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies honored students and a staff member for the innovation ideas, products, and services at the inaugural FDU Innovation Challenge on May 7, with first-place winners taking home $1,000 each. The Innovation Challenge is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff and recognizes bright ideas that add value to society.
Three winners are selected from the graduate level entrants, and three winners are selected from the undergraduate level. First-prize winners get $1,000, second place gets $500, and third place gets $250. One winner is selected in the staff and faculty category and is awarded a $500 prize.
In the graduate category, William Schwartz won with URBIZ.com. URBIZ is a business networking service that would allow users to post profile information about their hobbies, crafts, artwork, trade, or business skills to facilitate collaboration on a product. The process would begin when one user creates a ‘URBIZ Plan’ and identifies what parts of the project he or she is capable of completing. Other users can join the team if they have the skill set needed to complete other aspects of the project. With URBIZ a group of individuals would be able to create a one-of-a-kind product that they could sell on the URBIZ main site.
Two entrants tied for second place; Tess Tomasi with The Power of 99 and Nicholas Vertucci Collaborative Online Story Writing called Stikime.com. Tomasi’s The Power of 99 is a system which would use a $10 per month donation from citizens for two years to help the chronic homeless get back on their feet. The government classifies homeless persons as “chronic” if they have one or more disabilities and are homeless for prolonged periods of time. Recent research indicates that only about 10% of the homeless population is “chronic,” but that they can consume up to 80% of a community’s homeless services, with each one sometimes costing taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars per year in emergency services.
Vertucci’s StikiMe.com is a social-networking website that allows its users to share, collaboratively write, and publish stories about themselves, their experiences, family and friends, or their imaginations. A “stiki” is a story in wiki form. Wikipedia uses wikis to allow anyone to edit online encyclopedia entries. Similarly, StikiMe.com allows users to create, edit, and share stories with others in the StikiMe community.
The third place winner is Terry Hardin with Isolated EMP. The invention would help law enforcement officials to avoid engaging in dangerous high-speed pursuits, which are a high risk for injury and fatality. The idea is to produce two separate devices. One device is a ‘portable’ Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) generator, with the other device being designed for installation into structures such as over-passes on major freeways and highway routes.
In the undergraduate category, Kenneth T. Betz Jr. earned first prize with his idea, WebSmallBusiness. The idea of Web Small Business is a website hosting and design company that would utilize personalized software specific to the customer’s website that would allow them to make changes in content while still keeping the professional layout and graphics.
Michael McNesby finished second with the Magnetic Vehicular Propulsion System. This system, when installed in transports such as personal vehicles, cargo trucks, and military vehicles by powering vehicles through the use of powerful magnets, would greatly reduce and perhaps eliminate the need for fossil fuels for transportation.
Darlene Branco earned third place for the Flyer’s IntelliCard. The Flyer’s IntelliCard is a smart card that includes all information needed for traveling purposes. It will carry a person’s passport, a person’s identification for traveling domestically, and a person’s boarding pass.
Dr. James Marcum, the University Librarian, was the winner in the faculty and staff category for his innovative idea, the Library College of Inquiry. The idea is a library-supported program of one-credit hour courses in information literacy, reading, inquiry, and professionally- supported short courses offered by librarians and professionals in writing, media, career planning, and other areas where students have needs inadequately addressed by existing curricula. Professional librarians help people with their information needs daily. This is a “next step” toward supporting more extensive inquiries.
The mission of the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies of Silberman College of Business is to foster and support entrepreneurship and innovation in the academic and business communities. Since 1989, the Institute has fulfilled its mission by offering innovative academic and outreach programs on the local, regional and increasingly, global levels.