On Wednesday night, teams of Forsyth County high school students took the stage of the Mike and Lynn Cottrell JA Discovery Center at Alliance Academy in Cumming and unleashed their game-changing ideas for a panel of judges at the inaugural innovateUNG High School Pitch Challenge.
Young entrepreneurs from each of the county’s high schools pitched product and business ideas, like medical inventions, online applications and consumer products, vying for the chance at prizes worth $2,000, $1,500 and $500, to help their businesses grow.
Ruben Boling, director of UNG's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said that over the last several months the teams of Forsyth County students have received mentoring and business development advice from local UNG students to solidify their ideas into inspiring pitches.
The business pitches from Forsyth County students included the following:
Hitesh Kamisetty, Denmark High School
Bye-Bye Wi-Fi is a “non-toxic, Wi-Fi-blocking” paint primer additive that won the $2,000 first-place prize.
According to Kamisetty, Bye-Bye Wi-Fi is designed to be used in locations like nurseries and children’s bedrooms to block “up to 75% of Wi-Fi signal,” which he said some studies have shown could be detrimental to a child’s brain development.The patient-pending Bye-Bye Wi-Fi product is made of five unique compounds like graphite and aluminum, he said, and would be cheaper and safer than competing brands of Wi-Fi-blocking paints and signal jammers.
Ronith Thallapally and Anu Bandi, Lambert High School
Thallapally and Bandi presented Bluecap, a Bluetooth-enabled medication bottle cap they have designed that tracks and schedules a patient’s daily medicine usage through a mobile application.
Bluecap would have an automatic locking mechanism that would be controlled by the pharmacy, they said, scheduling and alerting patients when they need to take their medication.
According to Thallapally and Bandi, Bluecap would help fight deaths and illness due to incorrect medication adherence and could provide vital information for physicians and pharmacists.
"This would not only change how medication adherence will be read, but it is the future of how America is trending," they said. "Not only is Bluecap the future of the healthcare industry, but it is the future of America."
Bluecap earned the $1,500 second-place prize.
Meghan Pontius, Anthony Herock and Jack Ritacco, North Forsyth High School
NOMALO, according to Pontius, Herock and Ritacco, is an idea for a time-release, bio-eroding antidepressant implant that could be placed into the body of a patient to better regulate medication usage.
The students say that NOMALO, which earned “The People’s Choice Award” from the crowd, would be a "hollow polymer capsule with a semi-permeable membrane" that could be filled with specific doses of medications like an anti-depressant, removing the need for an individual to keep up with a medication schedule.
The technology to create a product like NOMALO exists and their idea has been vetted by several physicians who say that the idea is feasible, the group said.NOMALO earned the $500 people’s choice award.
Akshitha Surapaneni, South Forsyth High School
Pod Radio24 is a simple online platform to help expose new podcast listeners to a variety of different shows that might fit their interests, Surapaneni said.With thousands of choices for podcasts available online, Surapaneni said that Pod Radio24 would provide podcast newcomers a 24-hour online stream of the best shows available.
Yulianna Pazymino and Allison Mrozinski, Forsyth Central High School
Pazymino and Mrozinski presented their idea for Yummy Bandz, a brand of flavored rubber bands that fit into orthodontic braces used by children and young adults.
The students say that their naturally-flavored product would provide an incentive for young people to wear their bands more frequently and for longer periods of time.
Bradley Litsch, Arnav Patidar and Varoon Kodithala, Alliance Academy
Litsch, Patidar and Kodithala presented CO2Renew, a web and mobile “e-Grocery” platform that allows “environmentally-conscious consumers” to monitor the carbon footprint of the products they purchase.
The groups said that their mobile platform would allow consumers to research the sustainability of certain products, purchase those products, interact with a community of other users and donate to environmentally-friendly organizations, all from the same mobile application.
The Bipolar Lunchbox
Ellie Bullock, Alexis Fitzhugh and Hannah Cragg, West Forsyth High School
Bullock, Fitzhugh and Cragg presented their idea for the Bipolar Lunchbox, a daily-use, battery-powered lunchbox designed to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold throughout the day.
According to the group, the Bipolar Lunchbox would allow students and adults to keep their foods fresh for hours at a time.