Posts Tagged ‘new technology’

CONNECT’S MIP Awards range from Pure Fun to Life-Saving

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

On December 1st, the winners of the 2016 CONNECT Most Innovative New Product Awards were announced at the 29th annual dinner event held at the Hyatt Regency Aventine in La Jolla.

CONNECT is a premier innovation company accelerator in San Diego that helps start up entrepreneurial teams become great companies in the technology and life sciences sectors by providing access to the people, capital, and technology resources they need to succeed. CONNECT has assisted in the formation and development of more than 3,000 companies since 1985. Lead sponsors for the event were Cubic Corporation, and JP Morgan Chase & Company.  Tom West, San Diego Executive Director & Regional Manager of JP Morgan Chase, presented CEO Greg McKee with a check for $200,000 to support CONNECT.

CONNECT CEO Greg McKee said in part, “This event gives us an occasion to celebrate what we do best in San Diego ? innovate. From genomics to robotics, Bluetech to biotech, and data analytics to medical devices the breadth of our innovation economy is staggering. In fact, it’s a quarter of our GDP. You, as innovators, matter. And, I would bet, that many of the products we see here tonight will have an equally profound impact. For over thirty years CONNECT has been, and continues to be, an organization driven by discovery, innovation, economic empowerment, and the opportunity to change the world. But, changing the world isn’t always about a single sweeping gesture or one grand moment, it’s hard work, it’s a blend of small insights and little steps forward, it’s about sharing discoveries and thriving on others’ inspiration.”

There were a record 111 entrants this year across the ten categories listed below. To be eligible, the product must have been first introduced after January 1, 2014, never been selected as a MIP finalist, and generated revenue from sales (except for free mobile apps and companies submitting for the Life Science Products – Clinical Stage category). Each semi-finalist demonstrated their products in front of an expert judging panel in early October, from which 30 were selected as finalists. The winners and other finalists were:

Bluetech:  Water Pigeon – a fast, simple, secure way to deliver automated metering infrastructure (AMI) capability without replacing existing water meters or building wireless networks. Water Pigeon is a graduate of CONNECT’s Springboard program and a resident of EvoNexus.

After winning the award, CEO/CoFounder Clay Melugin said, “The MIP award from Connect is an outstanding honor to win. With so many great startup companies in San Diego in all categories, being recognized for Innovation delivers a boost to our team as we continue to push forward on goals that improve the world. Innovation is clearly not dead in the US and we want the world to see how innovation emboldens a supportive city like San Diego.

The outreach from others after the award has been amazing. It is very inspiring when people take time to understand our mission and offer to help us continue the journey both as investors and people who simple want to help. This only happens in a vibrant technology community like San Diego where startups encourage and help each other move forward towards success.”

Other Finalists:

Diver6a life-saving diver tracking system used to wireless supervise divers position and monitor their vital information provides services and technology for government and industry with extensive experience and capabilities supporting complex scientific and maritime operations.

Planck Aerosystemsits flagship drone brings high performance, autonomous unmanned aerial systems to moving vessels previously only possible from manned helicopters.

Cleantech, Sustainability, and Energy:  Camston Wrather LLC – recovers gold, precious metals, and polymers from electronic waste using proprietary patents and green chemistry.

Other Finalists:

  • Measurabl – an all-in-one commercial real estate energy and sustainability management software.
  • SDG&E – a regulated public utility that invented the Renewable Meter Adapter (RMA) as an alternative for private solar rooftop customers to avoid costly panel upgrades.

Defense, Transportation, and Cybersecurity:  Cubic Corporationdesigns, integrates and operates systems, products and services that increase situational awareness for customers in the transportation and defense industries.

Mike Twyman, President of Cubic Mission Solutions, said, “Cubic is honored to receive the Most Innovative Product (MIP) award from CONNECT in the Defense, Transportation and Cybersecurity category for our inflatable satellite communication system. Cubic GATR’s industry-leading inflatable satellite antenna is changing the satellite communications industry and receiving innovation awards, such as the MIP from CONNECT, validates the push for innovation at Cubic. We look forward to continuing our support of CONNECT and fostering innovation in San Diego region.

Other Finalists:

  • B&B Technologies LP – developer of the DAMPS advanced magnetic suspension/propulsion shock mitigation technology R&D for the military, medical and professional/commercial markets.
  • Space Microthe Micro-STAR-200M is a space qualified sensor observing start and delivering precision pointing information to its host spacecraft.

Information Communications Technologies: Aira develops remote assistive technology and services that bring greater mobility and independence to blind and low-vision people in daily living by connecting them to a network of certified remote agents via the blind user’s wearable smart device.

The impact of winning the CONNECT Most Innovative Product (MIP) Award certainly marks an important milestone at Aira, including our place as a recognized technological innovator in the San Diego region” said CEO Suman Kanuganti. “We believe that San Diego, because of its supportive and engaging technological environment, is truly the best community for startups like Aira, and we thank CONNECT for the work they do to grow the region, and of our peers who continue to inspire and challenge us to be more competitive, smarter, and committed to thrive and succeed here in San Diego. Equally important, Aira’s winning of the MIP Award allows further light to be shed on the often-forgotten challenges that people with vision loss face on a daily basis in functioning in a sighted world, and how the power of technology and innovation can play a major role in alleviating these challenges.”

Other Finalists:

  • Creative Electron – the TruView Cube is an innovative x-ray machine used to count the number of semiconductors without the need to open protective cases.
  • Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. – The SnapdragonTM 820 processor represents a rare feet in the engineering and design of semiconductors, in which every major IP block in the system is a new and custom design.

Life Science Diagnostics and Research Tools:  Echo Laboratories Inc. – developed the Revolve, a new hybrid microscope that easily transforms between upright and inverted configurations, merging the capabilities of two instruments into one. Echo Laboratories graduated from CONNECT’s Springboard program two years ago.

CEO/Founder Eugene Cho said, “Winning the event was a big achievement for us. Just two years ago we were at the same event, sitting in the audience as Springboard graduates. It was incredible validation to our team of how far we’ve come since then.”

Other Finalists:

  • DermTech – a non-invasive gene expression platform that works with samples collected using DermTech’s Adhesive Skin Biopsy Kit to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
  • NanoCellect Biomedical– the WOLF Cell Sorter is the new benchmark for access and performance to make flow cytometry and cell sorting technology more affordable and accessible for life science researchers to perform cellular analysis, develop molecular diagnostics, and improve personalized medicine.

Medical Devices:  Onciomed, Inc.the Gastric Vest System™ (GVS) is a revolutionary, minimally invasive implantable device to treat obesity and diabetes.

Other Finalists:

  • Innovative Trauma Care – created the ITClamp Hemorrhage Control System which is designed to address massive hemorrhage – a leading cause of death in traumatic injury – by controlling critical bleeding in seconds.
  • 11Health – a connected medical device company, where all patented devices use Bluetooth® wireless technology to send secure real-time data to mobile devices, including smart phones, tablets and watches.

Pharmaceutical Drugs and Biologic Therapies:  ACADIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – NUPLAZID is the first FDA-approved treatment for hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease psychosis.

Bob Mischler, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development said, “We’re honored that NUPLAZID was chosen as the winner of the Pharmaceutical Drugs and Biologic Therapies category. Even more importantly, we are gratified that this innovative treatment offers renewed hope to patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis, a debilitating condition that affects around 40 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease, and the loved ones who care for them.”

Other Finalists:

  • Ardea Biosciences– Zurampic is the first new oral medication for treatment of gout approved by the FDA in 60 years.
  • GlyConMedics LLC – Pre-biotic (OZ101) tables advance the treatment for type 2 diabetes by providing an affordable and effective long-term ADD-ON treatment to existing SU therapies to improve glucose control, educe hypoglycemia and weight gain.

Robotics and Unmanned Vehicles:  Clever Pet – a connected game console that intelligently trains and engages dogs using their normal daily food automatically, whether their humans are home or not. CleverPet is a resident of EvoNexus.

We were honored to receive CONNECT’s Most Innovative Product award in our category,” commented Co-founder Leo Trottier. “We could not have built CleverPet without the support of the San Diego community and organizations like Connect. We see this award as validating a business and idea that when we started felt at best a pipe dream.”

Other Finalists:

  • NXT Robotics – provides service robots to support increased security monitoring and alerting requirements.
  • Robolink – aims to make STEM education accessible, engaging and fun for children and hobbyists by producing robotics educations kits and providing educational lessons that teach core principles of engineering and programming.

Software, Digital Media, and Mobile Apps:  Guru – an app that features beacon-enabled technology that interacts with smartphones to create digital experiences for museums, aquariums and zoos. Guru is also a CONNECT Springboard graduate and a resident of EvoNexus.

Hilary Srole, Project Manager said, Entrepreneurship is hard, so receiving recognition like this from CONNECT is awesome. Winning gave us a great sense of validation. Not only for us, but for the San Diego Museum of Art for taking a chance with us. It really feels good to show that their faith in us wasn’t misplaced. This whole process has been rewarding. Springboard’s mentorship has helped us avoid some of the pitfalls commonly associated with start-ups and has helped us to move in the right direction faster.”

Other Finalists:

  • Nanome, Inc. – developed the world’s first immersive and scientifically accurate molecular modeling tool in Virtual Reality.
  • South Doctors, Inc. – the leading platform that connects patients from around the world with the best doctors and facilities in Mexico.

Sport and Active Lifestyle Technologies:  Bixpy LLCthe world’s first portable and modular personal water propulsion device that runs on lithium batteries for snorkelers and scuba divers, with attachments available to motorize kayaks and standup paddle boards.

Founder/CEO Houman Nikmanesh, said, “We were absolutely humbled by our selection as a finalist for the MIP Awards by Connect. We were among some brilliant people, amazing products, and innovative ideas. So when we won, we were absolutely beyond ourselves. It has taken us more than two years to develop the Bixpy Jets and we have worked tirelessly on a project that at times seemed like a pipe dream. Winning such a prestigious award validates our vision and paves the way forward for us. We’re proud and attribute much of our success in our product development to being in San Diego. Aside from being the perfect hub for an outdoor lifestyle company, the San Diego startup and innovation community has been instrumental to our drive and success.

Other Finalists:

  • ElliptiGO Inc.the world’s first elliptical bicycle, combining the best of running, cycling, and the Elliptical trainer for a fun and effective way to exercise outdoors.
  • FlyDivethe X-BOARD connects to a personal watercraft for hydro jet propulsion, empowering riders to hover and fly above the water. It is the most advanced hydro flight system designed and engineered to support both beginners and professional riders.

It was a very exciting night for me because I had been one of Bixpy’s mentors in the CONNECT Springboard program this year. Bixpy graduated in July, and in only four short months, they conducted a successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, were selected as a finalist, and won this prestigious award.

CONNECT has a built an unbeatable roster of over 500 highly-qualified individuals to serve as Springboard Entrepreneurs-In-Residence and Mentors who volunteer their time as mentors to help entrepreneurs develop successful companies. I look forward to mentoring more companies in the future.

 

San Diego’s Invention Contest Showcases Innovative Products and Technology

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

The San Diego Inventor’s Forum held its 9th annual invention contest on Saturday, August 15th at Coleman College’s Kearny Mesa campus to see which product would come out on top as the best technology or consumer product invention of 2015. San Diego is no stranger to innovation. In 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ranked San Diego as the second most innovative city in the world and the most innovative in America. This contest kept the innovation momentum rolling.

Adrian Pelkus, President of the San Diego Inventors Forum, said “Over two dozen patented or pending inventors entered the contest this year. Further proof how inventive San Diego is! All the inventors that exhibited were super creative and ready for market. Thanks to all that entered and congratulations to the winners. I wish all of you the best on your ventures, and we look forward to seeing your product on the store shelves soon!” Ten finalists were selected to compete for best consumer product and five finalists were selected for the technology category.

The event was lively this year after the second inventor, Shane Cox, demonstrated that questions posed to the inventors by members of the 150-person audience could be broadcast over the PA system as the QBall was tossed from person to person. Cash prizes were awarded to the first and second place winners in each category. There was a tie for second place in the consumer product category. The winners were:

First Place

  • Consumer Product: REMEDI™ – a new antibiotic that Dissolves Airborne Diseases
  • Technology: Blue Marble, Inc. – Individually app-controlled solar sprinkler heads, drip valves, and sensors (don’t need batteries)

Second Place

  • Consumer Product:
    • QBall: a throw-able ball containing a wireless microphone designed to encourage audience participation by voice amplification
    • IR SkullCap – a high performance, smart-foam insert for hats or beanies to reduce impact to the head
  • Technology: Intruder IDTM Camera System – a solar-powered, easily-installed, self-contained wireless system including a motion sensor, noise maker, and camera to deter and catch intruders bent on burglary, property damage, or graffiti “tagging”

The Solamatic ® Solar Technology in Window Treatments came in as a close third in the Technology category. The Solamatic ® automatically opens and closes blinds with sensors that detect daylight and weather. Inventor Marin Caspa, President and CEO of VSI Technologies Inc., demonstrated how the technology works by darkening the auditorium while simulating the rising sun with a spotlight. As the “sun” rose and set, the device opened and closed window blinds in sync with the cycles of day and night. For further information, contact Martin Caspar at caspa1@solamatic.com.

David Horrigan of Horrigan Labs is celebrating his fourth win at San Diego Inventors Forum annual contest for his REMEDI™. Mr. Horrigan discovered this formula when he was developing biocides for nail fungus as part of his CoolToes™ treatment for onychomycosis. Another formula made the cut for that treatment, but this product was very effective for other things. “The patent pending formula is made from two natural oils extracted from food. The vapors from this formula dissolve the wall of fungus, mold, bacteria and viruses. Because it is the vapors that do the work, the antibiotic can attack pathogens in places where other antibiotics can’t go like the sinus cavities and lungs. A client was looking for a fungicide suitable for removing mold on fruit,” stated Mr. Horrigan. “I tried it on strawberries and grapes, and it proved effective at controlling those molds. I then tried it on numerous other pathogens, and surprise, it controls the microbes that cause eight of the 12 diseases on the president’s list of Fast Track diseases, or diseases that are out of control or cause great financial hardship to the country ? diseases like howlie rot, ringworm, tuberculosis, influenza, and antibiotic resistant or flesh-eating diseases.”

REMEDI™ will be going to market as a consumer home fungicide available through direct response and through dealers. Horrigan Labs is seeking licensors for distribution for the consumer medical applications under the name Neomycosin™. These products will be manufactured in the USA. For further information, contact Horrigan Labs at davehorrigan@cox.net.

The big winner for 2015’s technology invention was Blue Marble, Inc., with its intelligent irrigation system. Founder of Blue Marble, Paul F. Sabadin, showed off the system of app and weather-connected individual sprinkler heads, drip valves, and soil sensors. California’s drought accentuates the value of this impressive technology, which works directly with existing irrigation systems to enable precise control, turning on only individual heads and valves that indicate a need while leaving other heads and valves off, conserving water, saving money, and lessening irrigation’s environmental impact. The devices are solar-powered and were touted as being 100% battery-free and therefore expected to last for decades on agricultural farms or in residential gardens. “We envision a day where Blue Marble will deliver the perfect drink to every plant on every farm, every apple in every orchard, and every blade of grass on every lawn,” said Sabadin. The company has launched a crowdfunding campaign for the technology at Kickstarter.com.

Mr. Sabadin had referred to his product as an “Internet of Things” startup and when I asked why, he said, the “Internet of Things” is perceived by many to be the next social/industrial movement with respect to the integration of the Internet into the fabric of global society. As differentiated from the social Internet, or “Internet of People” where peoples’ data, communications, affairs, and accounts have been subsumed into the global Internet, the “Internet of Things” does the same for physical devices, essentially making devices first class citizens of this global network, having implicit identity, voice, and interacting with other physical “things,” in addition to being controlled by and exchanging data with the Internet of people. For me, being an “Internet of Things” developer means that my systems and devices leverage connections to the Internet to optimize benefit for the end users of our products … to use the internet to manage the physical world to optimal benefit. For example, I use both wireless and wired connections to retrieve Internet weather to optimize irrigation and water savings while, at the same time, I enable system users (people, of course) to monitor and control their systems over the Internet. It is an extremely exciting field and capability that I have imagined and wanted to work in all my life. Technologies, society, and economies have reached a nexus where implementations of this interconnected world are being quickly realized. Blue Marble is smack-dab in the middle of this movement.”

He stated, “Winning the SDIF contest is a great honor. For tech startups it is a great challenge to garner visibility in a crowded world and this honor both validates and adds welcome momentum to our work. While I sat in the audience watching the other contestants demonstrating their creations, I thought, “Wow, that device is clever. I could use one of those.” When I was announced as the winner, I was both surprised and flattered. And then I thought, “Wow, this audience and the other creative inventors were thinking the same thing, ‘Wow! Blue Marble! I could really use one of those!’ For a product developer and inventor there really is no better feeling!”
Second place winner in the consumer product category, Shane Cox, founder of PEEQ and inventor of the Qball, said “We were so excited to participate in this competition. We are even more excited that we won second place in the consumer product category!” The Qball, is a throw-able wireless microphone designed to encourage audience participation. Originally designed for the classroom as a fun way to get students to engage and interact, we quickly realized the need for this type of system in everything from Q&A at events, to Skype calls in the boardroom, and even Karaoke. At only $150 everyone can be a part of it. Keep an eye out for our upcoming Kickstarter campaign. You know you want one!” For further information, contact Mr. Cox at shane@peeq.us.

The other second place winner George Flint, founder of Impact Reduction Technologies and inventor of the IR SkullCap, said “We developed the technology to reduce impact for people across all walks of life. Using high performance, smart foam technology, we are developing products that help reduce impact to the head and body when added to apparel. The first retail ready product is the IR SkullCap, which can be inserted in any type of hat or beanie. Initial testing has shown that it reduces impact to the head by 60%. “For further information, contact Mr. Flint at info@irapparel.com

Second place winner in the technology category, John Baranek, inventor of the Intruder Id, said “Winning second place was a big boast to our team efforts to develop an easy to install, affordable intruder system using the latest advances in solar power and wireless technology. We’ve done proof of concept, but now need to make a working prototype system to do a beta test in conjunction with a local law enforcement agency. In these days of budget cuts for law enforcement, it will be a great aid for law enforcement to have a picture of the intruder to make it easier to catch repeat offenders. We want to make the system so easy to install and affordable that a “grandmother” can do it herself.” For further information, contact John Baranek at jwbaranek@verizon.net.

Other consumer product contestants were:

Rodolpho Brasolin for his collapsible, portable rack for all types of boards, such as surfboards, snow boards, kite boards. It is easily attached or removed from a wall when changing residences. A standing rack not requiring attachment to a wall is in development for athletes who travel.

Joe Buttici for his Pand-A-Choo stuffed doll with a movable right arm and sound to train children to cough or sneeze into their elbow.

Michael Kadie for his Pocket Rocket – a dual USB port that can charge two devices at the same time, featuring a car adapter, Lithium battery, and LED flashlight.

Dean McBain for his wall outlet and light switch gaskets to help prevent the following: Bed bug infestation, Toddler electrocution & choking, saves on heating and cooling costs, makes the wall outlets vanish, helps prevents home and office fires, prevent exposure of toxic gas, cigarette smoke exposure and toxic mold exposure through the wall outlet.

Houman Nikmanesh for his Bixpy Aqua Booster – a portable water jet with modular capabilities to act as a hand-held diver propulsion device, a paddleboard or kayak motor, and even a water pump with available attachment.

Anna Vasquez for her patented spotlight built into the front of a portable iron.

The other technology category contestants were:

Michael Kadie for his Simple Solutions Inclusive Lithium-ion master battery management system with a wide variety of potential applications for the safety and longevity of battery packs.

Dean McBain for his patented Alive Biometric Authentication Identification Security System Solutions, which combines one or more biometric signature sensing identification sensor(s) to authenticate the operator, coupled with physiological sensing sensors to verify the individual is “Alive”. The system then analyzes their physiological condition. If the individual’s condition is within their set parameters, then operation/access is granted through the device or system to the individual.

This was the sixth invention contest that I have attended, and the products and technology presented by the contestants were the most technically developed and market-ready of any previous contest. The availability of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding mechanisms is providing the opportunity for inventors to get their products into the marketplace faster than ever. It was exciting to see the progress of so many of our San Diego Inventors Forum members. Our meetings are held at the conference facilities of AMN Healthcare in the Carmel Valley area of San Diego the second Thursday of every month at 6:30 PM. Our meetings cover topics such as harnessing creativity, patents, trademarks & copyrights, licensing, how to select the right processes and sources for manufacturing (which I give), video and internet marketing for inventors, finding funding, and planning and giving presentations. Meeting presentations are recorded and can be viewed on YouTube.