Nine student finalists in the Tulane Novel Tech Challenge will address a panel of judges with their ideas for improving the environment, human health, education and urban infrastructure through technology on Friday, April 13, from 2-5 p.m. in Room 124 of the Goldring/Woldenberg Complex. Challenge winners will receive more than $20,000 in prizes, as well as possible financing from potential investors. The event is open to the public.
“The Novel Tech Challenge provides students a chance to take an idea out of their heads and turn it into something real where they can show and explain it and convince potential investors to finance them or join their team,” said Novel Tech Challenge co-director Greg Stein.
Now in its fourth year, the Challenge is organized by the Tulane University Office of Technology Transfer. Over the last four years, it has hosted 50 student teams from science and engineering, medicine, business, law, social innovation and social entrepreneurship, fine arts, architecture and public health.
The competition begins in early fall and wraps up with a final presentation competition in late spring. Last fall, the Challenge began with 15 teams. In January, a judging panel of former Challenge winners selected the finalists.
Over the year, each of the teams received a $1,000 prototyping budget and access to the Tulane MakerSpace and workshops on 3D printing software, design thinking, fundraising, team formation, intellectual property and public speaking. Additionally, each team met monthly with Tulane alumni mentors and a Tulane School of Science and Engineering faculty member to gain a real-world perspective on their projects.
Since 2015, the Novel Tech Challenge has been a starting point for several new Tulane startup companies, enabling students to move their ideas out of the university and into the commercial realm. These startups include regenerative medicine companies, BioAesthetics and D&P BioInnovations, as well as bioimaging company, Instapath.
The Novel Tech Challenge is funded with generous support from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation and is a collaboration between the School of Science and Engineering, The Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Development.