Congrats to Stephanie Webb, an entrepreneurial UC Santa Cruz graduate student who claimed top honors last night at the 6th annual Business Design Showcase.
Every year the UCSC Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development shepherds students, alumni and faculty with amazing entrepreneurial ideas through the development process. In this annual Silicon Valley showcase, students competed for top honors and cash prizes in a judged event. Their ideas ranged from an Internet of Things device that detects forest fires and a parking lot information tracker, to a machine-learning cloud app that designs and prints personalized T-shirt designs.
Webb earned a first place award and $4,000 for building Sea + Tech, a mobile platform to bolster alternative seafood markets’ ability to compete globally.
The second place winning student business idea, Frequen-Sees, a wearable, head-level device for the blind and visually impaired that detects above-the-waist obstacles, was created by the undergraduate team of Randall Hill, Daniel Lopez, Denzel Mapp, Perla Plascencia, and Jennifer Sowash.
Third Place went to Realtime, a social media app developed by undergraduates Vernon Coleman and Kevin Robertson, which connects college students with groups, events, and other people based on shared interests.
Honorable mentions went to Foodzi an online platform developed by undergraduate Sheryl Ratnam to connect at-home cooks with meal purchasers in the local community; and Down Hammock by Sugi Sacks, a company by undergraduate Andrew Uyesugi, who developed a lightweight compactable hammock to keep the backpackers warm.
Prior to the open-forum showcase of the 12 student businesses, students pitched their business ideas to a panel of UCSC- and Silicon Valley-based judges. Keynote speaker alumnus Doug Erickson inspired students with his venture into entrepreneurship in the sailboard hardware supply business. Also on hand were Kamil Hasan, UCSC Foundation trustee and a major CIED sponsor and Sue Carter, CIED director.
Students met with members of the community and the audience voted for the People’s Choice Award; Ratnam won that honor.
Student-Led Businesses in the 2018 Showcase:
- CruzFire: An Internet of Things (IoT) device that detects forest fires with gas, temperature, and humidity sensors and sends this data to a base station via wireless long-range radio
- Cryptanna: A web and mobile tool that allows users to interact with and personalize a trading bot for cryptocurrency without trading experience
- Darfin: uses bio-mimicry 3-D printing to create surfboard fins
- Deep Shirt: machine-learning cloud app that generates personalized T-shirt designs and prints them
- Down Hammock by Sugi Sacks: revolutionary hammock keeps the user warm without extra weight or by taking up extra space in a backpack
- Foodzi: online platform that connects at-home cooks with meal purchasers in the local community
- Frequen-sees: a wearable, head-level device for the blind and visually impaired that detects above-the-waist obstacles
- Let’s Get Social: a virtual-reality (VR) storytelling platform that helps non-profits evoke empathy, attract donors, and market social causes
- Realtime by Novateur: social media app that connects college students with groups, events, and other people based on shared interests
- Santa Cruz Waveworks: a continuous, streaming surf data and condition monitoring hardware and online system for real-time surf’s up
- Sea + Tech: a mobile platform to bolster alternative seafood markets’ ability to compete globally
- SlugSpace: powered by SmartParkIOT (SPIOT), provides user-friendly parking lot information and tracks future parking availability
CIED, formed in 1979, promotes the development, research, and teaching of innovation and entrepreneurship at UC Santa Cruz and its global partners. In 2011, a new group of faculty worked with Santa Cruz alumni to start the Center for Entrepreneurship (C4E) in the Baskin School of Engineering, which launched the business design showcase, among other activities, plus entrepreneurship classes and community hackathons.
UCSC Silicon Valley Extension provides professional development to support your entrepreneurial dreams in the world of business, marketing, web development, technology and mobile app development in ongoing evening and weekend classes at the UCSC Silicon Valley campus.
Above photo montage: Raul Laura of Slug Space; Sheryl Ratnam, CEO of Foods; and Andrew Uyesugi or Sugi Sacks