RIT's Tiger Tank, hosted by the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship and sponsored by Saunders College of Business, gives students the opportunity to pitch their business idea to a bunch of judges (aka, tiger sharks) to win cash prizes. Twice annually, the Tiger Tank competition challenges entrepreneurs to formulate an early-stage business concept and submit a proposal that seeks to solve a problem or gap in the marketplace. Submissions are open to the general public and evaluated based upon their uniqueness, feasibility and the ability to impact people. Five teams are selected to compete in the Tiger Tank competition for the chance to win.
- Confoodence, a swab that helps identify allergens in food such as tree nuts. James Sheeler, an industrial design student, is the student developer of this project and walks away with a scholarship toward a graduate program in Saunders College and $2,000.
- Will Byron, a biomedical engineering student, pitched his team’s idea for X-ray technology software that provides advanced and affordable medical imaging with the capabilities of CT scans. Byron and his team won a scholarship toward a graduate program in Saunders College and $1,250.
- Mic Tap, created by Kevin Booker, a student in the School of Individualized Study, is a hardware device that attaches to any microphone to provide real-time live-captioning during events. The device attaches to the microphone and pairs via Bluetooth with any live-streaming software to output an on-screen text file of the users speech. Booker receives a scholarship toward a graduate program in Saunders College and $750.
- Ross Redevelopment, created by Eric Jones, a construction management student at Monroe Community College, is a property development firm that focuses on redesigning and renovating multi-family homes with special amenities accommodated for deaf and hard-of-hearing renters. Jones won $500.
- FireSafe, a sleeve secured around a firehose that directs disoriented firefighters to safety by using textures and visual aids, was created by Frankie Aiello, an industrial engineering student. Aiello won $250 for his idea.
In Spring 2018, Sign Speak won the Tiger Tank competition out of 60 proposals. Sign Speak is an online platform and mobile app, which helps facilitate communication between the hearing and deaf and hard-of-hearing communities through real-time captioning and ASL to English interpreting services.
Congratulations to the following five teams who placed in the top five:
- Sign Speak: An app and online platform to help hearing users and deaf/hard-of-hearing users to communicate.
- OurDiet App: An app that offers personalized disease information and gives recommendations for proper diet and portion size.
- Real Wood Rentals: A sustainable furniture company that offers wood furniture college students and young professionals living in temporary house. Materials are lightweigh and are made of recovered materials to lower costs.
- Zuri: An app that assists African-American men and women in finding hair stylists and allows users to book appointments directly through the app.
- SmartSec: A company that provides secure code-auditing to companies looking to implement block-chain applications.
Congratulations to Omni-Temp and the finalists of the Fall 2017 Tiger Tank competition including: Aqua Salutem Technologies, Glassdorm, Shared Hands, and SmartMove. Omni-Temp was managed by Mark Batorski, a fifth-year electrical engineering student; Andrew Pfeil, a fifth-year electrical engineering student; and Evan Pace, a fourth-year finance student. They won a $2,000 cash prize and a scholarship to attend one of the graduate programs at Saunders College of Business.
Top Five Finalists:
- Aqua Salutem Technologies: A system, started by Maxim Zibitsker, a student at Hobart and William Smith colleges, that pinpoints a real time depth and location of every swimmer in a body of water. This would help quickly locate and rescue drowning swimmers.
- Glassdorm: Founded by Daniel Fisher, Glassdorm is a platform that allows prospective college applicants to see college is like. Prospective applicants can see reviews from current and former students, similar to Glassdoor.
- Omni-Temp: An app that regulates a vehicle's temperature without running the engine. It also senses if an animal or person is in the car so that it can adjust accordingly and notify the user.
- Shared Hands: Shared Hands is an on-call interpreter app, founded by David Stolze and Joan Bempong, which assigns available interpreters to requests made by deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
- SmartMove: A compression suit and mobile/desktop application that shows users athletic performance and exertion level, It was founded by Brent Chase and presented by James McGe and Kerri Zalba.
On April 26, 2017, five teams competed for $4,750 in cash prizes and $160,000 in scholarships for graduate studies. Sinka Solar won first place, followed by Club Cafe Technologies and Orthop3Dic, respectively.
The top finalists were:
- Club Cafe Technologies: A coffee machine that produces cold brew in less time and using fewer beans that current coffee machines.
- DADCo: DADCo uses electromyography (EMG) to monitor muscle movements to learn about the electrical signals that our muscles emits.
- Orthop3Dic: An application that takes digital measurements of a patient. The tool then translates those measurements into a orthopedic insert made from a 3D printer. This takes less time and costs less than current systems.
- Rock Stars: Rock Stars helps children with autism or attention disorders to rock climb using lights, sounds, and textures.
- Sinka Solar: Sinka Solar is a company that uses photovoltaic material to capture indoor lighting and generate power densities twice as high as the traditional models.
In Fall 2016, the competition included a semi-final round. 23 teams from 50 applications were selected for the semi-final round for 90-second elevator pitches. Out of the semi-finalists, only five teams were selected to move to the final round of Tiger Tank. Congratulations to the winners of the Fall 2016 Tiger Tank Competition!
- FriendlyU by Henry Saniuk and Darrin Loelinger
- HiBeams by Leondro McHenry and James Kemper
- FreshLock by Alana Bichutsky
- GAIA by Brent Chase
- Shift by Lauren Samar, Camile Johnson, Cammie Johanning, Casey Birch, Matthew Perrello and Doug Smith
Visit the Simone Center for more event details.
More than 60 proposals were submitted to the Spring 2016 RIT Tiger Tank competition. Each team was hoping to be selected for the opportunity to present their business pitch live to a panel of Rochester-area entrepreneurs and investors for the chance to win a $2000 cash prize. Five teams took the stage to pitch their ideas and answer questions posed by the judging panel.
Congratulations to AWARE, a team developing a fatigue detection and alert system designed to combat drowsy driving. The AWARE system uses video-based monitoring of a user's head position, eye movement and blink rate to detect physiological signs of fatigue. Team AWARE included mechanical engineering students Teryn Rynone and Claiborne Grosshans; electrical engineering students Zach Moxley and Emmanuel Dodoo; and Amanda Murray, a biomedical engineering student. They hope to combat nearly 100K crashes caused annually by drowsy drivers on the US roads.
The first runner-up was team Band Toy consisting of industrial design students Mariana Pinheiro, Andrew Magee, and lara Goulart. Their product was a unique toy designed for kids with developmental disabilities to stimulate senses through the use of textures, sounds, vibrations and light patterns.
Congratulations to the five finalist teams:
- Aware by Zachary Moxley, Emmanuel Dodoo, Amanda Murray, Teryn Rynone, and Clairborne Grosshans
- Band Toy by Mariana Pinheiro, Andrew Magee and Lara Goulart
- Chemistry for a Cause by Ryan Le Toureau and Jacky Lim
- Intelli-Thread by Jack DeYaeger
- WoW Energy Systems by Dmitry Liapitch
Visit the Simone Center for more event details.
At the RIT Entrepreneurs Conference, five teams took to the stage to present their business ideas to a panel of judges. One team, ShoRag, whose concept involved an intuitive interface that allows users to to purchase specialty clothing and merchandise seen in their favorite shows and movies, walked away with the grand prize check and a full graduate degree scholarship to Saunders College.
Team Body Cool earned second place for a cooling device worn by people with multiple sclerosis to discreetly control their symptoms during warm weather.
More than 70 proposals were submitted for the Fall 2015 Tiger Tank competition. The five teams selected had 3 weeks to prepare a formal presentation, which was presented to the panel and Entrepreneurship conference audience. The presentations are available for viewing online.
For a list of past winners, please visit the Simone Center's Tiger Tank Library.