Open Minds


NCIIA is pleased to announce the Open Minds 2011 participating teams!!

Open Minds (formerly known as March Madness for the Mind) is the acclaimed annual exhibition of cutting-edge innovation from NCIIA's best student teams. The exhibition takes place each year during NCIIA's annual conference, and is an opportunity for student teams to demonstrate their products and companies, and receive local and national media coverage. This year, 15 teams have been selected to participate in this high profile event, which involves an evening exhibition for NCIIA conference attendees as well as an exhibition open to the general public and an exciting video competition, in partnership with Inventors Digest. Open Minds 2011 will be held in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The public exhibition will take place Saturday, March 26, 10:00am-2:00pm.

Media representatives: see the online media kit.

  • Jatropha Fuel Briquette Design for Smallholder Farmers in Guatemala

    University of Colorado at Boulder

    Developing briquettes made from the locally available Jatropha plant to meet rural families’ cooking fuel needs
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  • Continuously Variable Transmission system

    Anna University, Chennai, India

    Improving fuel efficiency of agricultural engines by incorporating a pulley-type transmission system into the engine.
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  • Gel-Fuel and The Twig Light

    Arizona State University

    A clean-burning gel fuel to replace traditional open fires/stoves in developing countries AND a clean electric light that makes use of existing waste energy.
    Learn more
  • Lyogo

    Purdue University

    Developing a device that makes it easy to distribute, administer, and dispose of medicine around the world.
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  • Medici Medical Technologies

    Duke University

    Developing innovative devices to restore control to women suffering from urinary incontinence (UI).
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  • infantAIR

    Rice University

    Developing low-cost ventilation system for infants and small children with respiratory distress in developing countries.
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  • Antenatal Screening Kit

    Johns Hopkins University

    Developing an easy to use screening kit to deliver low-cost healthcare to pregnant women in developing countries.
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  • mobiLIFE, Inc.

    Boston University

    A painless, Bluetooth-enabled CGMS that provides precise readings at a fraction of the cost for people suffering from or at risk for diabetes.
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  • Sustainable Solar Sanitation System

    Georgia Institute of Technology

    Addressing the issue of sanitation in developing countries through the development of a dry latrine system that provides sustainable, affordable, and safe treatment of human waste using the sun's energy.
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  • Kibera Working Group's WATSAN Solution

    University of Denver

    Working toward the goal of improved sanitation facilities in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya.
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  • Relay Technology Management, Inc.

    Tufts University

    Developing the Innovation Engine, a web-based analytics approach to identifying promising drug candidates from academic research institutions and early-stage biotechnology companies.
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  • Rickshaw Bank

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Working in collaboration with The Rickshaw Bank (TRB), an Indian Nonprofit, on a number of incremental rickshaw inprovements to the current model's efficiency and safety.
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  • SAFE AGUA: Ducha Halo Portable Shower

    Art Center College of Design

    Developing an affordable pressurized shower solution for impovrished familes in developing countries that provides a warm shower, reduces the spread of illness and reduces the amount of water used in traditional showers.
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  • WishVast: Building Trust and Social Capital using Cellphones

    Pennsylvania State University

    A cell-phone-based business networking system that harnesses the pervasiveness of cellphones in developing countries to optimize resource utilization and facilitate people-to-people trade, with the ultimate goal of alleviating poverty.
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  • Malo Traders LLC

    Temple University and Purdue University

    Combating extreme poverty and malnutrition by providing state-of-the art and environmentally sustainable storage, efficient processing and fortification technology, and marketing services to farmers and affordable prices to consumers.
    Learn more

The Video Competition

The teams participating in Open Minds 2011 have created short videos that tell the story of their innovations. Public voting on the videos has now closed. Thanks to all who voted for sharing your opinion! The winning teams will be awarded cash prizes to help advance their project. First prize is $1,000, second prize is $500, and third prize is $250. Learn more about the competition.

Video competition timeline:

  • Videos available for public viewing and voting: February 18 - March 14. Public voting has now closed, but the videos are still available. Watch them today!
  • Final video judging: March 14 - March 18.
  • Winning videos announced at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History: March 26 at 12:00 noon, during the Open Minds public exhibition

Thanks to our video competition sponsors:

More about Open Minds

Read the Open Minds application guidelines

Learn about teams from 2010