Members of three Pike Engineering Entrepreneurship Fellows Program teams were among the 10 University of Virginia teams selected as finalists in the American Evolution Innovators Cup, held April 12 at the Tom Tom Founders Festival. One team emerged as the second-place winner in one of the competition’s two challenges.
Pike Fellows Alexander Singh and Rohit Rustagi and their partners, George Vithoulkas and Eric Taleghani, were runners up in the Commonwealth Challenge celebrating “Virginia’s Most Innovative Startups.” Their company, Minimally Invasive Spinal Technology, also known as MIST, is working on treatments for childhood scoliosis.
Victor Layne and Raahish Kalaria also were finalists in the Commonwealth Challenge, pitching PurPics. The mobile phone application allows Generation Z consumers to raise money for their favorite organizations by promoting brands on their Instagram accounts.
Jake Smith, Mariah Kenny, Roman Bohuk and Marina Sanusi were finalists in the Social Impact Challenge, themed “Reinventing High School for the Future of Work.” Their company, MetaCTF, provides training and capture the flag competitions for audiences ranging from secondary-schoolers to industry professionals to make learning cybersecurity skills and techniques accessible to everyone.
The Innovators Cup competition is designed to challenge Virginia students to develop solutions that address issues facing both the commonwealth and the nation. Find the complete results here.
The Pike Engineering Entrepreneurship Program provides funding, support, coaching and mentorship in an intensive learning environment to students working on early-stage entrepreneurial projects based on commercializing some form of novel technology. Teams are selected in the fall and spend the spring semester developing critical skills and networks, while working toward launching their products or services. All six 2019 Pike Fellows teams — the cohort also includes CHIEF, Ocean.Loans and Uball — will compete against each other at a final showcase for prizes of $50,000 and $10,000 on April 22.