Whiteboard Challenge

May 27th, 2011 by Collin Canright | Filed under Business, Chicago.

Ideas for Blood Vessels, Captchas, and Cars Win
2011 MIT Enterprise Forum Chicago Whiteboard Challenge

Winners of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Enterprise Forum Chicago provide additional evidence that innovation is alive and well in Chicago in a wide range of sectors. The three winners spanned medical, internet, and personal services.

The MIT Enterprise Forum Chicago Whiteboard Challenge, now in its sixth year, is an ideas contest, with the winners receiving a share in $5,000 in cash prizes. Ten finalists presented their ideas Thursday May 26. The three winners are:

Blood Vessel “BullsEye” Locator, presented by Colin O’Donovan, won the top prize of $3,000. The idea solves the problem medical professionals have in locating arteries when drawing blood and veins for injecting medicines. The BullsEye device provides a two-dimensional representation of a patient’s arteries and veins, allowing medical professionals to insert a needle tip accurately. Consisting of a disposable patch and a reusable optic sensor, the system uses a “razor/razor blade” revenue model. Income would be generated through sales of the patches. The BullsEye locator is being developed by Vaccess Medical, a group of business, medical, and legal students at Northwestern University.

Fun Captcha, presented by Bryan Arturo, captured the $1,500 second prize. Fun Captcha is designed to make the often frustrating process of entering “captchas” in websites easy and profitable. Websites require humans to enter captchas, distorted text, to prevent spam. The Fun Captcha concept uses questions about images that appear on the screen rather than distorted text. One image could be a product, providing a source of advertising revenue.

I-GO Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing, presented by John Brophy, won the third prize of $500. This idea extends the existing I-GO Car Sharing service, allowing people who own cars to share them with those who don’t. After installing I-GO equipment, the car is registered with the I-GO system and made available for reservations either at home or work, whenever the owner wants. The cost of insurance and gas is included, as they are with I-GO’s own fleet, and profits are split between the vehicle owner and I-GO.

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