The 2017 WashU Patent Challenge has come to a successful end with team RestTest taking first place. Created by Fuad Naser, Arts & Sciences and Ronald Fowle-Grider, School of Medicine, RestTest is a technology designed to “objectively detect sleepiness to improve quality of life and prevent accidents.”
They received the first prize of $2,500. A total of $10,000 was awarded during the competition.
Sponsored by the Skandalaris Center in partnership with the Office of Technology Management, the challenge encouraged interdisciplinary teams to create commercialization plans for an invention of their choice. There were participants from each of the university’s seven schools, with each team representing a minimum of three schools.
The challenge was two-phased, with each phase awarding cash prizes. During the first phase, which took place during the Fall semester, the teams presented complex science in easy-to-understand ways. The audience voted and a team led by Jung-Tsung Shen and Daniel Ironside won the $1,000 cash prize.
The second phase culminated in the final event on March 29. The audience, along with a panel of judges composed of esteemed investors, entrepreneurs, and researchers, watched four teams pitch their commercialization plans for their inventions. In addition to the top prize, $1,500 went to four runners-up. An audience favorite prize of $500 was also awarded.