Case Western Reserve University sophomores Hannah Cao, Matthew Lee, and Shiva Sridar are the first place award winners in Launch CWRU Weekend 2016 for their project ChromaSense.
ChromaSense is a lab safety application, "the future of how we approach safety against dangerous chemical emissions. Our product consists of a coating that can be applied onto a wall, which then has the ability to change color in correspondence to the toxicity level within a lab. Any wall or surface has the ability to change color and detect dangerous chemicals; with the integration of being able to see dangers visually, ChromaSense enhances the way we can detect dangers."
CWRU LaunchNet Launch CWRU Weekend (September 2-4, 2016) is a three-day workshop and competition for aspiring entrepreneurs with a goal of connecting students and alumni to the resources they need to launch a startup. It has been described as 50 frenetic hours of fun, food, and camaraderie.
The ChromaSense team competed against eight other teams. More than 40 participants made it through the weekend, with registered attendees coming from several area schools besides Case Western Reserve including the University of Akron and the Cleveland Institute of Art.
"When we first entered Launch CWRU Weekend, we were simply three friends wanting to try out something new," says Lee, one of ChromaSense's team members. "None of us really had a concrete idea to work on, but we were all committed to this competition. As time passed and as we formed our ideas, things really started getting into motion. The Launch CWRU competition has provided so many resources such as successful mentors, and an opportunity for someone to grow and share their idea. Having an idea is great, but having the ability to work and develop it is what LaunchNet can do for you. Overall, this has been a great experience for all of us and we learned so much in such little time. Go LaunchNet!"
Throughout the weekend, participants imagine product or service ideas and pitch them to all other attendees. Teams form around the most promising of the ideas, and over the course of the weekend, businesspeople, educators, and professionals from the Northeast Ohio entrepreneurial community advised the teams, helping them turn their ideas into pitch-ready enterprises. On Sunday afternoon, all teams present to a group of judges, competing for a prize pool of $1,000.
More than a dozen area professionals volunteered their time as mentors over the weekend. The weekend keynote was delivered by Melanie and Toby Maloney. The CWRU Intellectual Property Venture Clinic and the CWRU student groups EXCEL, Design for America, and WISER presented seminars on Saturday. Representatives from Venture for America and the Veal Foundation served on the judging panel.
The second place concept was FlyrBag, a system for sharing (selling) excess airline baggage capacity, and SurveHD came in third. SurveHD is a gaming and entertainment center designed around the use of shipping containers. Both teams included students from Case Western Reserve.
CWRU LaunchNet receives lead sponsorship support for Launch CWRU Weekend from the Weatherhead School of Management and Sears think[box]. The CWRU student clubs EXCEL, DFA and WISER were presentation partners. CWRU LaunchNet receives generous program support from The Burton D. Morgan Foundation.