The final round of TU/e Contest took place yesterday afternoon, online once again. Twenty pitches were shown via a livestream, after which two teams had to answer questions from the jury in each category via a video connection. Jury chairman Robert-Jan Smits again stressed the importance of a successful prototype. “Presenting a prototype is essential in order to attract the interest of investors. They want to see what it is they’re asked to invest in and how it works, and they want to see that it works in the first place. Turning an idea into a prototype is not easy for start-up entrepreneurs, because it’s very expensive.” The prize money that comes with winning this Contest might be of some help.
First prize in the category Ideation went to team Voltgoed. “At this point, there are some 900,000 heat pumps in the Netherlands that aren’t smartly integrated into the electricity grid,” team member Stan Hoppenreijs says. Voltgoed uses the power flexibility of heat pumps in order to create a better balance between supply and demand of renewable energy power. The team gets to spend 5000 euros on the further development of its idea. The money will be used for, among other things, the development of the required soft- and hardware.
Prize winning mouse
Team Mouscle was also awarded 5000 euros. The prototype is finished already, and the jury was deeply impressed with the innovative computer mouse. Slogan of the three bachelor’s students Industrial Design Emma Eisma, Katrien van Riet and Max de Jongh: ‘Mouscle takes the R out of RSI.’ Because people will no longer suffer from injuries to arm, neck and shoulder caused by repetitive movements with a computer mouse when the device continually changes shape. Mouscle does so in two-hour cycles. The team, which already applied for a patent, will get to present Mouscle during the finals, the 4TU Impact Challenge, later this calendar year in Helsinki.
Team HART won the Student Teams category. The thirteen members set themselves the goal of improving human senses. HART develops a technology that allows the hearing impaired to feel language. It uses AI to transform speech into a pattern that can be felt in a sleeve with vibrational motors. Tests carried out by the team have already shown that users can learn ten words in only five minutes this way. HART will also receive 5000 euros.
The last team to win 5000 euros was teamNurdle Soup. The team won the Impact Award, presented by Steunfonds Duurzaamheid. Team Aristotle’s idea of a cognitive training won two prizes: the Audience Award (worth 1500 euros) and the TWICE Award (worth 1000 euros). The ASML Makers Award went to the prototype developed by ReLi, and the Ilionix Accelerator Award went to the prototype developed by Living Moments.