September 2010


Stanford University, 2010 - $20,000

Over three million US children per year are put under sedation in dental offices. While sedation keeps children calm and still during procedures ranging from cleanings to tooth extractions, it also has potentially fatal consequences. Thirty-three percent of adverse events related to pediatric sedation occur in the dental setting, with 91% of the adverse events resulting in death or permanent neurological injury. Further, 80% of the adverse events involved respiratory problems, since sedatives blunt respiratory drive and relax the upper airway musculature.

This E-Team is developing a device that monitors a child’s breathing while he or she is under the influence of sedatives. The small, wearable, disposable device, called PhonoSafe, alerts the dentist of sub-optimal breathing that lasts longer than fifteen seconds. It consists of a microphone placed on the throat at the level of the trachea to detect breathing sounds, hardware for signal processing to isolate the sounds from ambient noise, and software to analyze the respiratory rate and detect apnea (lack of breathing).

Billy Oelsner - Wake Forest University


November 2010

  • Organizing an Invention to Venture workshop on April 9.
  • Organized talks with local entrepreneurs, connecting them to students, focused on sustainable business models, managing a venture, and using entrepreneurship to combat rural 'flight'.
  • Hosted a 'crash course' on intellectual propertyfor undergraduates.
  • Hosting The Everyday Innovation Exhibition, a joint event between NCIIA and E-Society for Global Entrepreneurship. The event
    showcases the creative efforts of students working toward improving the lives of individuals in today's society while also rethinking conventional designs to advance technologies in the developing world.


Billy Oelsner, an undergraduate at Wake Forest University, has merged his passion for science with his entrepreneurial drive. After taking a graduate seminar on Biometrics taught by WFU’s Health Science Graduate School and Calloway Business School, Billy Oelsner launched a venture that was inspired by how organic systems harness and utilize wind energy and applied these biophysical principles towards creating more efficient, affordable green energy. After pitching the idea to WFU’s Health Science Technology Transfer and Asset Management, Billy received grant money and access to Wake’s Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials lab as well the Center for Design and Innovation for extensive R&D. Understanding the importance of the Global Economy, Billy Oelsner studied abroad in Vietnam examining the intersection of politics and entrepreneurship in an emerging market, studying social-cultural differences that influence the operation of businesses in the east, and investigating existing social entrepreneurial ventures that are making a positive difference in Vietnam.

He has also spent two years studying the effects of Ketamine on brain development at the Bowman Gray school of Medicine, culminating in a co authorship of a publication in Neuroscience and presentation at the SYNAPSE Neuroscience Conference. Furthermore, he is the recipient of two departmental scholarships in German and Biology, as well as Vice President of Wake’s National Pre-med Honor Society’s spring 2010 class. Following Wake’s motto, Pro Humanitate, Billy Oelsner has lead fundraisers for the Community Care Center, a non-profit clinic, and the United Way, as well as volunteering at the Sticht Center for Aging and Rehabilitation and Barrier Island Free Medical Clinic. Billy Oelsner hopes to continue his education by perusing degrees in medicine and business.

Billy's vision

With one foot in the world of science and the other firmly planted in the world of entrepreneurship, I believe I can bring innovation at Wake Forest to a new level, by bridging the gaps between these disciplines, by informing students of the resources that are available to them, and by showing them from personal experience the process and procedure to make their concepts a reality. I look forward to utilizing NCIIA’s resources in helping to create a stimulating environment for student inventors. Let’s bring innovation to a new level at Wake Forest!

North Carolina State wins first BMEStart competition!

We're pleased to announce the winners of the first (2010) BMEStart biomedical design competition for undergraduate students. More than 60 entries were received from 30 universities across the US. Congratulations!

First place, winning $10,000:
HydrEYE CorneOasis Contact Lens, North Carolina State University

Second place, winning $5,000:
Procar: A Trocar Worth Trusting, Columbia University

Tied for Third Place (sharing $2,500):

Malaria Retinopathy Automated Detection, Tulane University
Handheld Plasma Isolation Device, Purdue University


Roland Fomundam - Northeastern University


November 2010

  • Held an Invention to Venture workshop, with 70 attendees.
  • Started a new monthly entrepreneurship speaker series.


Roland is a graduate student in the School of Technological Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University, Boston, MA. He holds a BS/BA in Biology and Business Administration from Northeastern University as well. Prior to coming to Northeastern University, he attended Bristol Community College in Fall River where he founded the first Science club to promote science awareness on campus. The club also organized science fares, inviting and integrating initiatives from local schools. His entrepreneurial ability started at age 17 when he co founded, Chapman Biomedical, a sales and distribution network of generic medicine to rural clinics and hospitals in Cameroon, W. Africa. He acclaims himself as a youth champion; with a strong believe that today’s challenges can be collectively transformed by the collaboration of youth across the globe.

When not in class, he spends time working for Youth Action Africa, a nonprofit organization he founded with a mission to seek innovative ways to alleviate Africa’s myriad crises of health and poverty. He also enjoys travelling and interacting with diverse populations. This has rewarded him with the knowledge of speaking  up to 7 languages. Besides traveling, Roland enjoys playing soccer, ping pong and being an apprentice at a local golf course.

Roland's vision

Drawing inspirations from Peter Drucker’s assertion that, ‘Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth’, and technology being the catalyst to bond both concepts, entrepreneurs can provide new approaches needed to hasten the process of development and well being of the entire nation.

By combining innovative ideas from individuals and investments from public, private, and civil society organizations, such entrepreneurs can guide complex systems and institutions toward their goals. As a student ambassador for NCIIA, I strive to create a system that will ignite innovative ideas from all disciplines to provide tentative solutions to resolving complex global issues.


Alex Sposito - University of Maryland


November 2010

  • Hosted a 'technology bootcamp' in October, with 600 attendees.
  • Identified three teams and directed them towards submitting E-Team grant proposals.
  • Researching the development of a student venture fund.


Alex Sposito is currently studying Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland. He is also in the Hinman CEOs program, which is a living and learning program that focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation.  From his studies, Alex has become increasingly passionate about emerging technology and alternative energy. He hopes to pursue this passion by starting his own social venture aimed at creating a more sustainable future. 

While at Maryland, Alex has worked part time for the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute. Here, Alex gained valuable insight into Maryland's research and development initiatives as well as what resources are available to new ventures. Over this past summer Alex has been working with Cloud Solar, a new venture developing a solar thermal pool heater.

Alex's vision:

My mission will involve aligning the various entrepreneurial communities on-campus to promote greater student and faculty collaboration in creating sustainable, technologically innovative, socially responsible ventures.


Fast-growing EcoTech Marine ranked by

Former E-Team EcoTech Marine has been ranked by as one of its fastest-growing, privately held companies in the US.

EcoTech Marine, which manufactures water pumping products primarily for salt water reef aquariums using a patented technology, grew 995% in revenue between 2006 and 2009 and earned a ranking of 302.

As a student team at Lehigh University, EcoTech Marine received an E-Team grant in 2003 and incorporated the same year.