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Student Creativity on Display at 2nd Annual Product Innovation Showcase

MONDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2016 - 7:07 AM All News , Engineering , Business

"VIP visitors to the Showcase were each given $1 million to invest"

Product Innovation Showcase

To view team photos click here.

On Wednesday December 7, the Western New England University Colleges of Business and Engineering held their second annual student Product Innovations Showcase event in Rivers Memorial Hall. It was the culmination of the cocurricular course established several years ago, and funded in part by a grant from the VentureWell. Entrepreneurial teams of engineering and marketing students collaborate to turn ideas into marketable products that occasionally receive patents. The engineering students develop a limited functional prototype and the business students develop a preliminary business plan – all in one semester.

The Showcase event featured 20 product innovations ranging from a new container format for Pringles potato chips, to a flexible, easy to use auto roof rack system. VIP visitors to the Showcase event, including leaders from Valley Venture Mentors, Springfield Economic Development Corp., and the Grinspoon Foundation, were given $1 million each of “Western New England University” dollars to invest in the product innovations that demonstration the most commercial viability. Investors were encouraged to consider the following factors; the quality of the prototype; description of features, functions, and benefits; discussion of market size and target market strategy; the explanation of product’s technical components; explanation of financial questions for production costs and revenue projections; and the marketing materials and professionalism of team members at the Showcase.

The top investments in the Investors Category went to:
First place - Eazi Park
Second place - ID Mouthguard
Third place - Thermostart.

The top investments in the Fan Favorite Category went to:
First place - ElectroFlex
Second place - Eazi Park
Third place - ID Mouthguard.

Brief description of all 20 products: 

All Terrain: a new lantern to improve the outdoor experience
Container Solutions: new container format for Pringles
Eazi Park: a parking management system designed just for colleges
Electro-Flex: a new and improved power strip
Grizzly Vac: an automated (robotic) shop vacuum
ID Mouthguard: alerts coaches when a head injury occurs
IllumiBar: a new brake light system to alert drivers
Key Cleaner: simple device to disinfect germy keyboards
Laundry Alert: an automated device to a monitor laundry
More Door: a non-electric, hands-free door opener for indoors
Peanut Better: a new and improved peanut butter jar
Polar Plow: an automated snow removal system for your car
Raise the Roof: an easy-to-use car roof system
SeaMat: a new yoga mat that is washable, sweat wicking & comfortable
Snowbot: a robot that will shovel your walkways
Spray Away: an automatic shower/tub cleaning device
Thermostart: an automated car starter to protect children/pets
Traybilizer: automatically balances a tray to avoid spilled drinks
VakPak: a vacuum system for packing 30% more into a suitcase
Water Locker: a security system and water bottle all in one

The faculty members teaching the entrepreneurship and innovation courses include Assistant Professor of Marketing Mary Schoonmaker, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Glenn Vallee, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering Robert Gettens, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Richard Mindek.