Sixth annual boot camp for young entrepreneurs concludes on a high note.
A robotic biomedical waste disposal system, designed by six high school students, won first place in a business plan competition hosted by the Washington, DC, chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE DC).
The competition was part of the sixth annual boot camp for young entrepreneurs, organized by TiE DC and held at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. The 10-week TYE — TiE Young Entrepreneurs — program featured roughly three-dozen students from the Washington-area schools.
The free program’s mission is to nurture the next generation of entrepreneurs, and it is supported by Sanjay Govil, founder and Chairman of the Rockville, MD, -based Infinite Computer Solutions.
The six students that pitched the winning idea, RoBio, took home the $3,000 cash prize.
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Their invention solves the problem of doctors getting pricked by used and contaminated needles when disposing of them. The team has already filed for a patent for the product — which was endorsed by a certified physician — with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
RoBio will now represent TiE DC in a global competition hosted, which will be held in Washington, DC, next month.
The second place went to ConnectSports, a mobile app allowing sports enthusiasts to connect with one another to play a pickup game of their desired sport. The team won a cash prize of $1,500.
In all, seven teams pitched their business plans, or products to a panel of highly experienced judges.
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“Each team had a very interesting idea to solve a problem,” said Mahesh Joshi, Director of Research and Practice at George Mason University’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, who hosted the boot camp, told The American Bazaar. “In my opinion, each idea, if executed well could become a winner in the long run. This ability to generate interesting and worthwhile ideas was very impressive.”
Joshi said the teams were “open to suggestions” and they pivoted “their concepts, as they learned more about their industry and potential customers, more modifications were applied to the original idea.”
This was the sixth year Joshi, who is also a member of the board of directors of TiE DC, ran the program, along with Robin Dvorak, the organization’s program director.
“TiE DC is proud to nurture budding entrepreneurs who will make the world a better place with their creative entrepreneurial ventures,” Sheela Murthy, president of TiE DC, told The American Bazaar. Murthy, a prominent entrepreneur and founder of the Owings Mills, MD, -based Murthy Law Firm, said TiE DC “is also excited to be the TYE global host.” She added, “Come on, come all and support these kids with your time, talent and treasure.”
The program, which began in February, taught the students various aspects of entrepreneurship, including preparing and pitching business plans. The participants also had opportunities to interact with and learn from a number of prominent entrepreneurs from the area during the camp.
Ashoka Tankala, Executive Vice President and Head of Finance and Operation of Infinite and a TiE DC board member, told the Bazaar that he was impressed with the ideas presented and Infinite was glad to support the young entrepreneurs.