California Institute of Technology, 1998 - $20,000
This E-Team developed a compact, powerful electromagnetic tool that can be used for removing dents from auto bodies quickly and efficiently without damaging painted surfaces. The technology is competitive with standard methods of dent removal but does less damage to the paint on the car. The concept originated from an experiment a student did to remove a dent from his car with a natural magnet.
The team identified a market of more than 26,000 auto body repair shops nationwide, as well as secondary markets of car dealerships, rental car dealerships, do-it-yourself consumers, and metal garage door repair professionals.
The E-Team drew from students in engineering, applied science, physics, economics, mathematics, computation and neural systems, and electrical engineering at Caltech, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of California at Los Angeles. The team also included technical advisors and a financial advisor.