A communication device that allows firefighters to easily speak to each other on the job was the big winner in this year's EUREKA! Ventures Competition Series.
Azim Sonawalla ’12 ’13G, a member of the inaugural class of the Technical Entrepreneurship Master's Degree program, took home the $17,500 grand prize in the competition with the Cool Talk Communicator. Sonawalla, founder of Second Shift Innovations, developed the device, which allows firefighters speak to each other while wearing self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) masks. The product should be available later this year.
The Master's Degree in Technical Entrepreneurship is a one-year, in-residence program that draws upon Lehigh's extensive catalogue of programs dedicated to the teaching of business and technology innovation, building upon the success of such endeavors as Lehigh's Integrated Product Development (IPD) program and the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation.
The EUREKA! Ventures Competition Series seeks student proposals with the potential to make a positive impact through the pursuit of innovative thinking and sustainable business models. Entrants are required to create a business summary, provide technical aspects and briefly communicate the contestant's or team’s ability to execute and succeed in the venture. The contestants must go through interviews and pitch a five-minute presentation on the product.
The Baker Institute holds the event annually and opens the competition to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni.
Click here to view the full list of winners from the competition.