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Closing the LOOP on InnoVenture 2015 Demo Day

Article by Ellora Chua, Student Reporter

 

The rainy afternoon of March 10th did little to abate the perseverance (as well as anxiety) of participants soldiering on to cross the finish line. This was it. The journey that started nearly seven months ago has culminated to this day – Demo Day.

The Pitch

With so much on the line, it was no wonder that each and every team brought in an air of nervousness with them as they entered EA 06-02. Having just 7 minutes to deliver their pitch, the need for haste caused participants to fumble with their words, some more than others; their pupils dilated with worry as their 7 minutes dwindled to 1.

Nevertheless, all the teams successfully delivered their spiels and as they left, breathing their sighs of relief, they sparked a flurry of discussion and deliberation amongst the judges. The judges for Demo Day were representatives from all but one of our sponsors, namely MediaTek, PUB, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, DHL and NUS Office of Facilities Management. They had to judge both the products as well as business plans of teams and rate each team on a scale of 1 to 10, based on criteria such as customer desirability, technological feasibility, technology novelty and creativity, and business viability. Their task was no easy feat as all ten teams delivered engaging pitches and even more fascinating products to match; giving their all in what was the final leg of their InnoVenture journey.

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The Exhibition

After the presentations, both judges and participants flocked over to TechHub where teams have set up their exhibition booths. With their A1 posters and prototypes proudly on display, teams were excitedly anticipating and answering questions from visitors (psst, potential clients perhaps?) about their products.

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The Winner!

Bright eyes, curious minds and unrelenting excitement filled the luminous space of TechHub, but it was not long before news that the judges have chosen their champ interrupted the enthusiastic chatter! And the winning team of InnoVenture 2015 is…T16 with their company LOOP!

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From left: Ruan Yifan, Zhou Zeming, and Zhang Tianze

LOOP is the brainchild of three down-to-earth 17-year-olds from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science – Zhang Tianze, Ruan Yifan and Zhou Zeming – devised to solve the problem statement presented by Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

The problem statement contributed by Tan Tock Seng Hospital aimed to develop a low cost solution that can remind and persuade healthcare workers to sanitize their hands in order to prevent the spread of multi-drug resistant organisms.

“We chose the Tan Tock Seng Hospital problem statement because we resonated with the gravity of cross-infection within wards,” says Zhang.

“Moreover, even though the other problem statements were very interesting, they were beyond our understanding and capabilities. The problem statement provided by Tan Tock Seng Hospital seemed more approachable” he adds.

So, how does LOOP propose to tackle the problem of cross-infection within wards?

How LOOP Works

LOOP is hoping to integrate three components: trackers attached to hospital beds, an intelligent wristband and an indoor tracking system developed independently by LOOP. The indoor tracking system is perhaps the more attention-grabbing element of the three as the system, with the help of an inertial measurement unit (IMU), is supposed to track the location of healthcare workers in real-time using sensors placed within the ward.

The system would monitor physical contact between healthcare workers and patients and cause the wristbands to vibrate, reminding healthcare workers to sanitize their hands before coming into contact with the next patient.

“There were a lot of components that we struggled to figure out initially, but we’re really glad that we did; all the effort definitely paid off” says Zhou, who is interested in pursuing a higher education in Engineering.

“We thought InnoVenture could be a really good opportunity to start a company, but we never thought we would get this far,” squeaked Zhang.

“We are very excited about the win,” he chirps, grinning from ear to ear.

Well, you should be! With your novel ideas and tenacity to realize them, the win was undisputedly deserved. Congratulations once again, Team T16!

And with that, InnoVenture 2015 has come to an end. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, mentors and participants for their contributions in making InnoVenture the stimulating and insightful experience it was.

But watch out for this space! InnoVenture 2015 was merely a section of our book and we’re turning the page into a new chapter real soon! 😉