On Wednesday August 22nd 2012, OLC attended the final presentations for the NYU/Poly Summer Incubation Program. Judging the presentations were panelists Owen Davis, Ellie Wheeler, Lindsey Marshall and Steven Kuyan. After each of the five companies made a ten minute business plan presentations, the judges deliberated and gave one group the opportunity to fund their business.
Winner: Falcon Engineering
Falcon Engineering, presented by founders Mario Mercado and Daniella Patrick unanimously won the presentation. Falcon is an engineering and design firm attempting to create the first helmet to protect skulls for wrestlers. Surprisingly there are no standards for head gear in wrestling, which leads athletes to rely on wrapping protective material around their heads. This inspired Mercado, a wrestler himself, to create the helmet. Their innovative design makes the helmet comfortable and versatile enough for other sports to adopt. With a market of 102 million wrestlers worldwide and two million concussions each year, their helmet can protect and prevent these injuries. Wrestlers spend about $300 a year on equipment alone which means this new product would be not be a surprise expense. The company’s goals for the future include getting certified by appropriate associations and patenting the product. The judges felt this project was the most thorough and well-developed.
Violet Health was presented by founders Matt Edmundson and Jenny Tsai. Their company’s goal is improving the high level of iron deficiency in India, primarily in pregnant women. The current treatments for this issue have not been successful as 65% of women who require pills do not actually take them. Violet Health has created an alternative, iron biscuits, the first product of its kind. Production is currently based in Bangalore, but Edmundson and Tsai hope to expand production locations. The judges encouraged the founders to perform a) more product testing and b) more legal preparation.
Presented by founder Alexandra Meis, Kinvolved’s mission is to aid schools in disadvantaged communities. Via an iPad application, currently under development, Meis hopes to grant access to teachers and parents the connections needed for social responsibility in education. The app records attendance records and texts parents whose children have been absent or late. 29% of students miss a month of school per year, 50% in low income communities. The cost of dropouts has been estimated at $260 million per year. Teachers enjoyed using the app and would use it again. The judges encouraged further development, more school trials and different strategies to breaking into the entrenched educational bureaucracies.
G2E, or Games2Educate, was presented by founders Miles Gopie and Jay Suong. Their business model was aimed at high school students preparing for the physics regent exam in New York City. The idea, create a 3D first person physics game that applies all the concepts and follows the regents curriculum. G2E currently has games online with over 200 players and detailed player feedback. The goal is to have a full multiplayer game in 24 months and hope to be the platform for physics educational gaming in five years. The judges felt this was a great opportunity for students however the connection between college students and high school teachers should be made stronger in order to create the most effective game lessons.
EREV-N was presented by founders Antonio Pellegrino and Karan Singh. Their business was a website created for “real time interactive media platform” specifically for events. Features include social integration, live syncing, event info and video. The website would appeal to small and large group gatherings such as schools, conferences, Meetups, Eventbrite events and many others. Pricing for this service would vary by number of events and audience size but would be much more affordable than the competition. The judges believed there needed to be more foc