By Janesha Moses '16 | Vol. 2 Issue 2
Every semester, current Aggies from all disciplines come together to participate in a competition to create and market innovative new products around a Central theme.
Tension was high during this spring’s competition, as each team of four had exactly 48 hours to produce an invention surrounding the theme "First Responders," and create a video to market their creation. The teams were composed of undergraduate and graduate students from all academic backgrounds including engineering, business and architecture.
Aggies Invent seeks to show students what the real world of entrepreneurship is actually like. With an allotted amount of resources in funding, sponsors and mentors, it is up to the students to create a product that is original, impactful and practical.
"We look for hot topics in the industry to determine what we want to focus on," said industry mentor and mediator of Aggies Invent, Rodney Boehm.
Being pushed toward success and creativity in such a short amount of time has a way of cultivating growth exponentially.
"It fosters and drives the spirit of innovation—connects you with a lot of people," said participant and electrical engineering major Cameron Shaw ’15.
"It changed a big path in my life," said participant Jason Sieben ’17, computer engineering major. "I used several of the things I learned in my classes."
The final products were astounding. Inventions ranged from a smart medicine container to solar powered window blinds to a device that alerts others in the area of a child locked in a hot car. The winning creation in this Aggies Invent competition was the FireCat.
"We were working with the Red Cross in response to a challenge they’d given us to address the issue of large scale fires in urban shanty towns around the world," said team FireCat member and business major Kyle Yates ’15. "We worked on a proof of concept prototype over the weekend that would identify when a fire started and then alert others in the area so they are able to get out in time."
According to environmental design major Jessica Sovereen ’17, whose team, SmartMeds, placed second, the best part of the competition was "seeing our invention come to fruition. I kind of got nervous speaking in front of the judges, but we had a solid product and it was a really rewarding weekend."
The final takeaway for the participants of Aggies Invent is much more than a working prototype and an award, the program provides access to a lifelong network, personal and professional development and a lasting spirit of leadership and entrepreneurship.