Georgia Tech InVenture Prize Announces 2013 Finalists

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Georgia Tech’s fifth annual InVenture Prize competition announced the six finalists for this year’s broadcast on Georgia Public Broadcasting March 13 at 7 p.m.

The InVenture Prize is an invention competition designed to encourage and support Georgia Tech students’ interest in invention, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“We are excited to be celebrating our fifth year with such talented contestants,” said Ray Vito, co-founder of the InVenture Prize. “Each year, I am impressed by the ingenuity and passion of the students who participate in the InVenture Prize. These six finalists, selected from a group of 500 expressing interest in competing, are simply exceptional.”

This year’s innovations tackle a variety of solutions for people and pets — from robotic dog toys and a standalone disposable diagnostic test for anemia to a device that helps babies sleep. A wallet-sized cell phone charger keeps mobile devices going while another creation helps collect and verify PINs. There may not be a better mousetrap, but there is a toaster that produces the breakfast side to perfection.

The 2013 finalists include the following:

BioPIN (Steven Wojcio, Computer Science major from Forsyth, Ga.; and Scott Groveman, Electrical Engineering major from Roswell, Ga.): BioPin is a new way of collecting and verifying PINs that looks at a lot more than just numbers.

Chewbots (Christopher Taylor, Mechanical Engineering major from Stone Mountain, Ga.): Chewbots are a line of fully automated robotic dog toys that make owning a dog easier and are more exciting and interactive for dogs.

The AnemoCheck (Erika Tyburski, Biomedical Engineering major from Miami):

The AnemoCheck is a point-of-care, patient-operated, standalone, inexpensive and disposable diagnostic test for anemia due to any underlying pathology.

Hue (Basheer Tome, Industrial Design major from Conyers, Ga.): Hue is a toaster that perfectly toasts your bread by color.

Spark (Sam Elia, Electrical Engineering major from Augusta, Ga.; and Grant Heffley, Business Administration major from Lawrenceville, Ga.): Spark is a credit card-sized cell phone wall charger that fits in your wallet for convenient charging on the go.

iSleep (Zack Zalesky, Mechanical Engineering major from Atlanta; and Joseph Hickey, Mechanical Engineering major from Houston): iSleep is a baby soothing platform that reproduces the motions and vibrations of a car ride in the comfort and safety of your own home.

The winner will walk away with up to $20,000 provided by Google and a spot in Georgia Tech’s startup accelerator program, Flashpoint. Second place receives $10,000 provided by the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the winner of the People’s Choice Award receives $5,000 provided by the Center for Innovation for Manufacturing. Fans can vote for their favorite invention during the televised final round on March 13, 2013. The People’s Choice Award will be given to the fans' favorite invention. Voting will be by text messaging or via the InVenture Prize website.

This year’s show is hosted by Faith Salie, who will be joined co-host Bahareh Azizi and judges David Phelps, president and CEO of CreoSalus; Lisa King, vice president of Research & Development Strategy for Newell Rubbermaid; and Behrooz Abdi, president and CEO of InvenSense.

Free tickets to the live InVenture Prize broadcast are available at In addition to airing on Georgia Public Broadcasting, the 2013 Georgia Tech InVenture Prize competition will be streamed online at

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