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Open Minds 2013

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Open Minds 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/companies to the public, many of them for the first time.

Open Minds 2013 teams showcased their products during two exhibitions, held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, hosted by its Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The team from Thomas Jefferson High School won the People's Choice award, earning $1,500. Congratulations!

  • CleanNG LLC
    Oklahoma State University
    A new natural gas fuel storage system that allows more fuel to be stored in a smaller space.
    Learn more
  • Ligadon
    University of Utah
    A more effective solution for ligament and tendon recombination surgeries that prevents tissue from tearing under strain.
    Learn more
  • HESE Affordable Greenhouses
    Pennsylvania State University
    Affordable, easy-to-build greenhouse kits designed for small farmers in Africa.
    Learn more
  • Assured Safety Drill
    Harvard University
    A handheld, portable, and reliably safe drilling device that can create holes in the skull with any size drill bit.
    Learn more
  • FastStitch
    Johns Hopkins University
    A device developed by Archon Medical Technologies that helps surgeons close the wound created by open abdominal surgery more safely, easily, and consistently.
    Learn more
  • Engineering2Empower
    University of Notre Dame
    A safe, affordable, permanent housing solution for the developing world consisting of lightweight, earthquake- and hurricane-resistant concrete panels.
    Learn more
  • AssureFit Chest Tube Stabilization Device
    Clemson University
    A device designed to increase stability and reduce the risk of dislodgment for chest tube insertions.
    Learn more
  • mSurvey
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    A platform for using text-messaging technology to survey communities in developing countries via mobile phones.
    Learn more
  • Serionix
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    An economical and efficient way of removing perchlorate from water in point-of-use treatment units such as pitchers or faucet filters.
    Learn more
  • MaxQ LLC
    Oklahoma State University
    A series of multi-use, lightweight, insulated shipping containers with much larger maximum usable volume, higher insulation rating and higher impact resistance than current containers.
    Learn more
  • MAID (Magnetically Assisted Intubation Device)
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    A device that simplifies the intubation procedure by using a system of magnets to guide the endotracheal tube into the trachea.
    Learn more
  • Project Gado
    Johns Hopkins University
    An inexpensive archival scanning robot that can automatically lift fragile images, place them on a scanner, and scan them into a database at full archival-quality resolution.
    Learn more
  • Sanergy
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    A micro-franchised network of low-cost sanitation centers designed specifically for urban slums.
    Learn more
  • Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology InvenTeam
    A Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam
    A high school student team working to develop an emotive aid for combating autism
    Learn more

Learn more

Interested in showcasing at Open Minds 2014? Check out the guidelines.



Special thanks to our 2013 partners

Two Open Minds teams win Spark Awards

Two teams that are coming to the Open Minds exhibition at the NCIIA conference in March, Balde a Balde and Team GiraDora, recently won Spark Awards. Spark Awards are competitions created to promote great design and designers and to encourage people to explore their creativity.

Team Giradora, developers of a human-powered washer and spin dryer to increase the efficiency and improve the experience of washing clothes by hand, took the highest prize. Balde a Balde (developing a portable faucet that provides running water from any bucket) took the Gold Award. Congratulations to the teams!

 

 

Miret Surgical

Stanford University

Gall bladder removal (cholecystectomy) is the most common general surgical operation in the US, with more than one million cases each year. 600,000 of these are elective, laparoscopic cases performed with ports and a camera, a minimally invasive approach that leaves no visible scar. But these scar-free techniques are burdened by steep learning curves, safety issues and high costs.

Miret Surgical is developing a safe, fast and cost-effective solution for scar-free surgical removal of the gall bladder. Miret’s system uses a novel modular instrument design to wed the advantages of pediatric laparoscopic tools with standard laparoscopic tools. Surgeons assemble and use as many of these modular instruments as needed, and after surgery the patient is left with a hidden incision in the belly button and a few tiny punctures, which will heal quickly and without noticeable scars.

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Open Minds 2012

Meet the Open Minds 2012 Teams

Open Minds 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/companies, and receive local and national media coverage.

The following fourteen teams were selected to participate in Open Minds 2012. These teams were showcased at two exhibitions in San Francisco and also entered videos into the Open Minds video competition.

Congratulations to our video competition winners! Earth2Block's video was recognized for Greatest Social Impact Innovation AND Strong Arm Ergonomic Lifting Safety System's video was recognized for Best Pitch Delivery. Both teams won $1,000 each to help further their ventures.

  • Brilliance
    Stanford University
    A low cost, low maintenance opto-medical device that uses high intensity LEDs for the treatment of jaundice
    Learn more
  • GiraDora and Balde a Balde
    Art Center College of Design
    A portable faucet that provides running water from any container, and a human-powered washer and spin dryer to increase the efficiency and improve the experience of hand-washing clothes
    Learn more
  • IntelliWheels, INC.
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    After-market additions to off-the-shelf wheelchairs that decreases the effort it takes to propel them
    Learn more
  • GRIT Leveraged Freedom Chair
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    A lever-powered mobility aid designed for the use in developing countries
    Learn more
  • Medtric Biotech, LLC
    Purdue University
    Developing an innovative, environmentally friendly anti-infection technology
    Learn more
  • The Integrated Punch Biopsy
    Johns Hopkins University
    An all-in-one skin biopsy device that efficiently and safely transects and retrieves the skin sample
    Learn more
  • Strong Arm Ergonomic Lifting Safety System
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    A form-fitting garment that incorporates a unique system of load-bearing straps that allows workers to lift heavy objects more easily and with significantly less risk of injury
    Learn more
  • Inserogen
    University of California, Davis
    Developing SwiftVax, a plant-based production platform that produces animal and human vaccines efficiently and affordably
    Learn more
  • MetCel
    Oklahoma State University
    Developing a Hybrid Composite Armor stand-alone insert that is capable of significantly reducing Behind Armor Blunt Trauma (BABT)
    Learn more
  • NextDrop
    University of California, Berkeley
    Leveraging the recent proliferation of mobile phones in India to provide households with accurate and timely information about when piped water will become available in their area
    Learn more
  • Earth2Block
    California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
    Developing earthquake-resistant,inexpensive interlocking compressed earth block (ICEB) construction
    Learn more
  • Miret Surgical
    Stanford University
    A modular, minimally invasive surgical system
    Learn more
  • Project Agrow
    IIT Bombay
    Developing a low cost, manually operated machine that enables de-cortication and de-husking of raw peanuts to deliver clean peanut kernels
    Learn more
  • The Harker Innovation Team
    A Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam
    A high school student team developing an Aquatic Thermoelectric Generator to produce energy from heat
    Learn more

About Open Minds

Interested in showcasing at Open Minds 2013? Check out the guidelines.

Open Minds 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. 10-15 teams are 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.

We are thrilled to once again partner with Inventors Digest for the 2012 Open Minds exhibition.


Learn More


Open Minds Gold Sponsor



Our Partners

Open Minds past teams



Open Minds 2011

Fifteen teams exhibited their innovations during Open Minds 2011, Friday, March 25 thru Saturday, March 26, 2011 in Washington, D.C. at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

  • 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
    Learn more
  • Continuously Variable Transmission system

    Anna University, Chennai, India

    Improving fuel efficiency of agricultural engines by incorporating a pulley-type transmission system into the engine.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • Medici Medical Technologies

    Duke University

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

    Rice University

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

    Johns Hopkins University

    Developing an easy to use screening kit to deliver low-cost healthcare to pregnant women in developing countries.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • Kibera Working Group's WATSAN Solution

    University of Denver

    Working toward the goal of improved sanitation facilities in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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

Thanks to our 2011 sponsors:



A Sampling of Press Coverage for Open Minds 2011


Learn about the 2010 teams

Open Minds Guidelines

 

Open Minds is the annual exhibition of NCIIA's best student teams. The event takes place in conjunction with the NCIIA annual conference and involves an evening exhibition for NCIIA conference attendees as well as an exhibition open to the general public and an exciting video competition. 10-15 teams are selected to participate each year. 

Open Minds 2014 will be held on March 22 in San Jose, CA.  Interested in applying? The Open Minds 2014 RFP will open in November and  applications will be accepted until December 13.

Learn more about Open Minds 2013 here.

Application Guidelines

Why Apply?

  • Great exposure and networking oportunities
  • Present your innovation and pitch to a wide range of audiences (peers, academics, potential investors, and the general public)
  • Selected teams receive an all-expense paid trip to NCIIA's annual conference to participate
  • Opportunties for high profile, media attention
  • Chance to win video competition cash prizes to further your venture

Eligibility and Requirements

  • Interested teams must be previously or currently affilliated with NCIIA, and can be one of the following:
    • An NCIIA Advanced E-Team grant recipient
    • A student team that has resulted from an NCIIA Course and Program grant
    • A student team that has attended an NCIIA venture development workshop (E-Team Program, VentureLab, Advanced Invention to Venture) or is involved with the University Innovation Fellows program.
  • Teams must have a working prototype, or something engaging to showcase at the time of the exhibition (hands-on and interactive displays draw the most media attention and interest from the public).
  • Applying teams must submit a brief video as part of the Open Minds application (see details below). Teams selected to participate in Open Minds will have their videos entered into the video competition. Cash prizes will be awarded to teams with the winning videos.
  • Selected teams are required to be on location  and must attend all activities related to Open Minds.

Questions about your team's eligibility? Contact Patricia Boynton

Video Competition Details

Started in 2010, The Open Minds annual video competition has enabled participating teams to spread the word about what they're doing among a wide range of audiences leading up to, as well as beyond, the Open Minds exhibitions. Teams are required to submit a link to their video as part of their initial application. First prize is $1,500.

Judging
Teams selected for Open Minds participation will have their videos automatically entered into the competition. Videos will be judged by a panel of reviewers and ranked based on originality, creativity, and pitch delivery. The top 5 videos will be posted online for public viewing and voting, and the video with the most public votes will be awarded $1,500. Winners will be announced on location during Open Minds.

Download the video competition guidelines for additional information.

Watch videos from 2013 participating teams.

How to Apply

The Open Minds 2014 application will become available in November, 2013. Check back for details, including the submission deadline, this fall.

Interested teams will submit an easy, 5-step online application, which can be accessed here. If you have not already done so, you will need to create a NCIIA account to access the application. Teams should be prepared to provide the following as part of the application:

  1. A brief narrative (no more than 3 pages) that addresses the following:
    • Your Technology: What is your invention or technology innovation and is it technically feasible? What problem are you solving for what customers? In what way is it better than other solutions on the market? What large-scale impact would successful adoption of your innovation create (e.g., lives saved, amount of C02 reduction, increased income to customers, etc.)?
    • Why Open Minds? Explain why you want to participate in Open Minds and what your team hopes to get out of this experience.
    • Your Exhibit Plans: During the Open Minds exhibition, participating teams engage with a wide variety of people––from the general public and media representatives, to college faculty, to angel investors. Successful exhibits are inviting, interactive, and teach people (regardless of age or level of expertise in your area) about your product and/or venture. If your team is selected to participate in Open Minds, please describe what you plan to showcase. What equipment (if any) do you plan on bringing (laptop, etc.)? Do you envision needing electricity for your exhibit? Will you bring a prototype and/or any relevant tools or materials with you? If so, please describe the size of your prototype and any materials that would be included as part of your exhibit. If bringing a prototype is not possible, please explain how you intend to create an attractive, interactive exhibit.
  2. A high resolution (at least 2MB/300 dpi in size), compelling photo. Photos can be of your prototype and/or demonstrate your device's intended use or market. Photos from the field are also acceptable. This photo will be used for marketing purposes, so just be sure it's high resolution, compelling, and one that you're comfortable sharing.
  3. A link to your team's video. If your team is selected to participate in Open Minds, your video will be entered in the video competition. Complete video competition guidelines can be downloaded HERE.
  4. Verification of support from a faculty advisor. This may take a day or two, so plan accordingly in advance of the submission deadline.

Notification

Applicants and faculty advisors will be notified of their status in early January 2014. Selected teams will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements. NCIIA will subsidize travel and expenses for up to two winning team members to attend. These expenses include airfare, hotel accommodations, and a small stipend for food. Most meals will be provided.

 

The Malo Traders team from Temple University shows a sample of their nutritional rice

The SAFE AGUA: Ducha Halo Portable Shower team from Art Center College of Design delivers their pitch

The Rickshaw Bank team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

What past teams are saying

“It was great to be able to present our concepts to new faces and get new insight and opinions, as well as see our work in comparison to what else is being done in the academic world.”

--2012 participant

“This is an invaluable experience that will put you in touch with some great contacts and breathe new life and excitement into your project. You'd be crazy not to take advantage of this opportunity.”

--2010 participant

“[Open Minds is an] overall fantastic experience that gives you the unique opportunity to learn about the mechanics of the successful presentation and pitch of your product as well as an opportunity to practice in an extremely prestigious and unique environment.”

--2011 participant

Open 2011 in the media

More than 380 leading faculty and student innovators and entrepreners participated in three days of knowledge sharing and network building. And we highlighted our best teams of the year at Open Minds. Here's the start of the press coverage:

 

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
    Learn more
  • Continuously Variable Transmission system

    Anna University, Chennai, India

    Improving fuel efficiency of agricultural engines by incorporating a pulley-type transmission system into the engine.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • Medici Medical Technologies

    Duke University

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

    Rice University

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

    Johns Hopkins University

    Developing an easy to use screening kit to deliver low-cost healthcare to pregnant women in developing countries.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • Kibera Working Group's WATSAN Solution

    University of Denver

    Working toward the goal of improved sanitation facilities in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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.
    Learn more
  • 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

 

 

NewsTracker - NCIIA's work in the news

Features

Ducha Halo portable shower (Sept 2011)

Solar sanitation system (Sept 2011)

InfantAIR ventilator for newborns (Sept 2011)

Brilliance jaundice treatment incubator (Sept 2011)

Sproxil anti-counterfeit drug texting system.(Sept 2011)

 

Invention of the Year 2011: Antenatal Screening Kit

Lightweight Solar Panels that Mimic Ivy (Solar Ivy, 2010)

Invention of the Year 2010: OneBreath ventilator

Invention of the Year 2009: Ecovative Design

 

Tinkerers saving the world (2011)

Women innovators saving the world: with NCIIA grantees Tricia Compas and Teresita Cochran (2011)

Steelcase adopts the Ecocradle packaging system (2010)

Most innovative companies: GoodGuide (2010)

 

 Industrial strength mushrooms (2010)

 

America's best young entrepreneurs: Lifeserve Innovations (2010)

NCIIA's best student innovators (2009)

Recent articles

Therapeutic Systems (local story in Hampshire Daily Gazette)

Therapeutic Systems keeping up the pressure (Oct. 2011)

Under 30s making it happen (Joseph Steig byline in Xconomy - Oct. 2011)

Balancing needs and discovery in biomedical engineering education (Aug. 2011)

Ecovative Design receives equity funding (May 2011)

ABC NCIIA's best student teams (Open Minds) '11

About.com NCIIA's Open Minds '11

Innovation News Daily: NCIIA's Open Minds 2011

NextBillion.org: NCIIA's Open Minds 2011

Ecovative partners with Ford to make car components (April 2011)

Huffington Post story and PBS video: Ecovative Design's packaging innovation (2011)

NewsTracker 2010

NewsTracker 2009

 

 

 

 

 

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