Texas Tech University

Winners Announced from 'Discoveries to Impact Week' Competitions

Glenys Young

April 10, 2019

Spark winners

Various events awarded more than $16,000 to local entrepreneurs.

More than $16,000 in prize money was awarded from competitions during Texas Tech University's inaugural "Discoveries to Impact Week: A Celebration of Research, Innovation and Startups."

Winners are:

  • Commercialization Track ($1,000): John Reed, undergraduate, College of Arts & Sciences – Organo: Selenium-coated textile that inhibits gram-positive and gram-negative bacterial biofilm formation.
  • Spark Conference Poster Showcase People's Choice Award ($500): SivaTeja Pati, undergraduate, College of Arts & Sciences – adaptive grip mechanism with gross- and fine-grip switchability for 3D-printed prosthetic hands.
  • iLaunch Lightning Round Reception People's Choice Award ($1000): Suraj Khadka, graduate research and teaching assistant, Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering – GeoBricks: A cheaper and stronger brick with zero carbon footprint for a sustainable future.

Winners from the iLaunch Competition are:

  • First Place ($10,000): Antony Betteridge and Nathan Lloyd, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center students – VxMED: Center that transforms medical school textbook and lecture content into a virtual-reality training experience for first- and second-year medical students preparing for board exams.
  • Second Place ($3,000): Melissa Genetti, graduate student, Animal & Food Sciences – InOut Biome: A non-invasive, non-digestible capsule that can directly sample the fluid in all parts of the digestive tract, including parts of the small intestines (jejunum and ileum) that have never been sampled before.
  • Third Place ($1,000): Joseph Johnson and Caleb Stuffle, Air Force Academy – U-Wash: A peer-to-peer app-enabled laundry service for college students and junior military members living in dormitories to make life easier for customers by helping them save time and make money.

Dozens of events held April 1-5 showcased the best of the best in a wide spectrum of research, innovation and business startups. The 1,006 registered participants had the opportunity to hear from 375 undergraduate research presenters representing 12 institutions and four countries. The conference also featured two renowned entrepreneurial keynote speakers and three thought-provoking panel discussions. Two hundred twenty-two mentors were engaged in supporting conference participants and 351 volunteers dedicated their time to making the week a success.

Events during Discoveries to Impact Week were made possible through a new partnership between the Innovation Hub at Research Park, the Center for Transformative Undergraduate Experiences and the Center for Integration of STEM Education & Research.

Generous sponsorship was provided by the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance; Texas Tech's Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, Area of Management; Texas Tech's J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts; Lubbock National Bank; Dickinson Wright LLP; Texas Tech College of Arts & Sciences; Covenant Health; Texas Tech Honors College; McDougal Capital; Texas Tech Office of the Provost's Teaching, Learning & Professional Development Center; Texas Tech's Division of Diversity, Equity & InclusionMcNair Scholars Program; Caprock Business Finance Corporation; and Texas Tech Graduate School.

Next year's Discoveries to Impact Week will be held March 30 through April 3.