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ECE Students & Faculty Among Finalists in $50K Business Plan Competition

ECE Students & Faculty Among Finalists in $50K Business Plan Competition


Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) students and faculty are among the finalists for the University of Maryland's $50K Business Plan Competition, organized annually by Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTECH) Ventures, a unit of the A. James Clark School of Engineering. Competition finals will be held on April 27, 2007 at the University of Maryland, in room 1110 of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building.

ECE Research Associate Will Plishker; ECE graduate students Yashwanth Hemaraj (May '07) and Omkar Dandekar, and ECE Adjunct Professor Raj Shekhar are finalists in the Faculty and Graduate Student Division. The team has put together a new company called Accelign that is developing technology that quickly fuses or "registers" medical images from multiple sources to create a single, three-dimensional image. Fusing images through Accelign's hardware accelerator gives doctors the ability, using existing imaging equipment, to see the metabolic activity of positron emission tomography (PET) scans, as well as the high resolution anatomical structure of computed tomography (CT) scans, all in one image. This innovation can help doctors provide more accurate diagnoses and pre-operative planning.

In the Young Alumni Division, an ECE alumna and a current undergrad, David Crawford (B.S. '09), are finalists on the Aid Networks LLC team. AID Networks is a seed stage medical device R&D company developing small, portable, wireless, wearable vital sign monitors for hospital patients. The team's invention was in the news recently after the team won second place and the Entrepreneurial Vision Award at the Spirit of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development (SEED) competition in Santa Barbara, Ca.

Also competing in the Young Alumni Division, Erudition is a company developing an online learning community dedicated to providing users with the tools to create and share study materials with classmates, as well as give users the opportunity to enroll in interactive online courses. The team consists of Kurt Mansperger, computer engineering and finance undergraduate student; Brian Guenther, 2006 alumnus of the University of Maryland; and Jon Krangel, Hinman CEOs and finance undergraduate student.

In the Undergraduate Student Division, both finalist teams include ECE students.

The first team, IMPACT Education LLC, develops low-cost educational kits that university professors can use to teach MEMS fabrication outside of expensive laboratory facilities. While those facilities can cost millions of dollars to build, IMPACT’s educational kit will cost only $500. The team is comprised of undergraduates Ryan Herrera, electrical engineering ('07); John Karvounis, computer engineering ('07); Peter Orlicki, Hinman CEOs, computer engineering and finance ('08); Travis Young, electrical engineering ('07); Kristin Freese, Hinman CEOs and government and politics, ('07); Steven Hoffenson, mechanical engineering ('07); Kate Imp, criminology and criminal justice alumna ('06); Paul Kang, marketing and logistics ('07); Jamie Kim, finance and accounting, ('07); Wei-Liang William Lai, computer science and math ('07); Fred Perrotta, economics ('07); Jennifer Thompson, mechanical engineering ('07); Joe Wakeman-Linn, psychology ('07); and Ben Worku, information systems and finance ('07).

The second team, titled Medical Error Reduction through Information Technology (MERIT), is a company developing Meritrack, a low-cost, scalable, and flexible total procedural healthcare systems solution that will reduce human error in healthcare and support efficiency in clinical record keeping. Meritrack will integrate mobile computing, RFID tracking, and relational database technologies into existing clinical and hospital infrastructures. The team, whose members participate in the Gemstone program, is comprised of: Timothy Han, Gemstone, electrical engineering, ('08); Dennis Kim, Gemstone, electrical engineering ('08); Kyle Weber, Gemstone, electrical engineering ('08); Victoria Yan, Hinman CEOs, Gemstone, and electrical engineering ('08); Dr. Gilmer Blankenship, professor and associate chair for external affairs, electrical engineering and Chairman, TechnoSci, Inc.; James Briscoe, Gemstone and aerospace engineering ('08); Michael Cortina, Hinman CEOs, Gemstone, and mechanical engineering ('08); John Gianfrancesco, Hinman CEOs and Finnace ('08); Joshua Macht, Gemstone, cell biology and molecular genetics ('08); Michael Maraña, Gemstone, aerospace engineering ('08); Michael McKay, Gemstone, government and politics, mathematics, and computer science ('08); Gregory Parkins, Gemstone, Finance, economics, and government and politics ('07); Vasanthi Raghavan, Gemstone, mechanical engineering ('08); Andreas Saltos, Gemstone, biomedical engineering ('08); Theodore Tien, Gemstone, finance, and marketing, ('08); and Michael Vellucci, Hinman CEOs, accounting, and finance ('08).

April 4, 2007


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