Santa Cruz Tech Beat


IDEA Hub pitch contest winners announced

By Sonya Newlyn
UC Santa Cruz

June 8, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

UCSC Waterbug team presents their pitch at the Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup on June 7, 2017. Credit: Colleen Jennings.

The UC Santa Cruz IDEA Hub’s Pitch for Social and Creative Enterprise competition featured thirteen teams with widely varying ideas from low- to high-tech to benefit society. The judges had a very difficult time selecting the first, second, and third place winners, so awarded two honorable mentions in addition.

The judges were:

  • Pete Cartwright, founder and former CEO of Calpine
  • Brian Johnston, CEO of Somagenics
  • Roger McConville, VP of Global Support Sales at BMC Software
  • Yvonne Rodriguez, Ph.D., M.B.A., former deputy director of SACNAS, Public Policy Fellow in Association for Women in Science, and Government Relations & Public Policy Associate in Society of Women Engineers

The winners are:

  • 1st place, $3000: WaterBug, a water-distribution-system monitor that provides real-time data to save water and energy. (Grant Ly, Alec Reid, Wyatt Smith, Tin Thurein)
  • 2nd place, $2000: Code Naturally, researching new approaches to excite 3rd through 9th graders about math and computer science. (Sukh Singh, CEO; Gabe de la Mora, Keller Jordan, Emily O’neal, Kathy Petersen, Kristian Talley, Alfred Young)
  • 3rd place, $2000: OVAC, a drone that autonomously collects water body floor sediment and reports data to marine researchers and industry professionals. (Garrett Ding, Josh Gutterman, Aaron Ramirez, Garrett Stoll)
  • Honorable Mention, $500: Santa Cruz WaveWorks, underwater sensors report surf conditions in real time. (John Tauriac)
  • Honorable Mention, $500: SlugSense, a wireless monitoring and data analysis system for environmental conservation (Scott Davis, Clayton Keleher, Matthew Kim, Yu-An Lin, Raul Lopez-Luna, Robert Lyons, Babandeep Singh, Tyler Tagawa)

The 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place teams went on to pitch their ideas at the ensuing Santa Cruz New Tech Meetup on June 7.

The other competitors were:

  • BusStop, a mobile app that guides visually impaired travelers to and through public transit.
  • GoBike, a mobile electric bicycle sales and rental and maintenance service.
  • MicroPod, a modular tiny and energy-efficient mobile home
  • pTera, an aerial drone with infrared sensors that scans and reports terrestrial conditions
  • SlugRide, a mobile app for carpooling to campus
  • Smart Parking Over There (SPOT), a guidance system for parking easily and autonomously
  • Urbavore, automated aeroponic and vertical food production technology
  • WaterLab, scalable water treatment system for developing communities

The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurial Development (CIED) and the faculty and staff founders of IDEA Hub congratulate all participants for an excellent job and congratulate the winners and honorable mentions for exceptional presentations!


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