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Lehigh University logo

A celebration of innovation

Nearly 30 student project exhibits ringed Iacocca Hall for the 2015 Innovate! Celebrate! awards dinner, hosted by Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation. The annual event recognizes student, faculty and alumni innovation and thanked those who support student entrepreneurship.

Winning and finalist student projects in the EUREKA! Ventures Competition Series and i Prize competition were displayed in “Innovation Alley” with 24 awards given to outstanding student entrepreneurs.

Top projects ranged from a mobile application to help children be more active to a thermoelectric medical device to aid in injury rehabilitation and a line of customizable sunglasses.

The EUREKA! competition awarded more than $58,000 in cash and in-kind prizes to students, including space in the Baker Institute student office suite in Ben Franklin TechVentures business incubator to help grow their ideas into ventures.

Award categories included the Thalheimer competition for-profit ventures award; Levin Advanced Technology Award for engineering students; Social Ventures; Legacy award for students who were previous winners and received continuing access to resources to move their projects forward; and , the EUREKA! competition’s overarching award of excellence.

This year’s Joan F. & John M. Thalheimer ’55 Grand Prize went to Briana Gardell ’14 ’15G, a Technical Entrepreneurship master’s degree student whose company, Mezzimatic, produces a science kit for children that turns into a toy.

For the iPrize, a “people’s choice” award that recognizes the best new idea, invention or innovation, guests voted at the event for their favorite projects by “investing” with $3 million in “cash,” with the winners receiving the most investment announced during the ceremony.

Winners Steve Boerner ’15G (first place) for Hatch House, an entrepreneurial live-work space; Brian Flynn ’15G (second place) for Munchr, a food delivery app; and David DiFrancesco ’16 and Tyler Bond ’15 (third place) for Crafty, a craft beer discovery tool app, received cash prizes.

Provost Patrick V. Farrell presented the John B. Ochs Award for Faculty Achievement in Entrepreneurship Education at Lehigh to Pat J. Costa, lead instructor in Lehigh’s Introduction to Entrepreneurship courses, foundation of the entrepreneurship minor degree, where he teaches more than 200 students a year.

Costa is also a professor of practice in the Integrated Business and Engineering honors program and the primary marketing instructor at the Iacocca Institute’s Pennsylvania School for Global Entrepreneurship.

Read the full story at the Lehigh University News Center.

-Amy White is the communcations specialst for Lehigh University's Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation.

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