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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Students, professors share entrepreneurial ideas at Innovation Day

Community members and UA students showcased business ideas, hoping to turn them into reality, at the UA’s 10th annual Innovation Day.

Twenty-three companies from the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and eight companies from the Arizona Center for Innovation set up booths around the Student Union Memorial Center ballroom on Thursday.

Partnering with Tech Launch Arizona and the Office of University Research Parks, the UA hosted Innovation Day to give students, community members and investors a taste of what’s next in technology and business.

New to Innovation Day this year was the community innovator’s award, which was won by Lawrence Hecker. Hecker is a member of the Tech Launch Arizona advisory board and has assisted and advised a number of start-up companies.

“We try to add something new every couple of years,” Allen said. “But this year, because of the new relationship with Tech Launch Arizona, we really wanted to focus on that.”

The Student Technology Innovation Award was given to Jared Griebel, a chemistry graduate student.

“It’s nice to get personal recognition, and I get to meet a lot of people so I’m very excited about that,” Griebel said. “It’s good to see that the university is working on this, good for students and faculty alike to get their ideas out there.”

Moments3d is a company from the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship’s program that can create a 3D printout of a customer’s face.

“The 3-D scanning industry is growing at about the same rate as the 3-D printing industry. However, the two industries are not really connected,” said Moments3d member Christopher Elsner, a public administration graduate student. “Finding a way to be able to capture something in 3-D and then print it out doesn’t exist, so we wanted to find a solution to our problem.”

Moments3d’s booth scanned visitors’ faces and printed them on a 3-D printer borrowed from the UA business school to show off its innovation.

Four UA alumni and swimmers from the UA men’s swim team created the company Fittid Sport, part of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship’s program. The concept is a custom-fit racing suit for optimal fit and compression that the four will design, manufacture and sell. The first prototype is planned to launch in August.

“Our initial niche is going to be competitive swimmers because that’s where our experience is,” said Jonathan Denton-Schneider, Fittid Sport’s finance manager. “Between the four of us, we have 50 years of competitive swimming experience.”

To draw attention to their booth, the four students offered visitors the chance to take a photo with an Olympic Gold Medal.

Off the Trail is a company that allows people to customize their trail mix by picking what ingredients they want via touch
screen. For those unsure of how to customize their trail mix, a randomization feature will let the machine choose for them.

The company has received some orders for its product already, such as from Salpointe High School, who ordered two machines.

Off the Trail is also working on a feature called “Snack on Me” that will allow users to buy trail mix for a friend through an app. The friend will receive a text message with a code that they can then scan at the machine to receive the gift.

“With Chipotle [and] Subway, everyone’s doing it ‘your way,’” said Oscar Rembao, a business management senior and Off the Trail’s finance manager, explaining the inspiration for the trail mix business.

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