The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Engineers Compete in Feb 26 Innovation Challenge

Early in February at the Hack(H)er413 event, several College of Engineering students competed on two winning teams that were each awarded $150 in equity-free funding and spots in the Innovation Challenge: The Semifinal by the Berthiaume Center. The Innovation Challenge is a series of competitions designed to assist and reward UMass students and young alumni pursuing novel ideas and developing them into marketable products. 

The Innovation Challenge competition is a four-part, cross-campus, entrepreneurship competition that launches promising ventures to the next levels of startup. Prize money is awarded at three stages of the Innovation Challenge.

At Hack(H)er413, the winning Vibe-Alert team was composed of Sarah Kim (Mechanical Engineering), Ananya Rao (PR Engineering), Allison Lessard (Nursing), and Dhruvi Chauhan (Mathematics and Computer Science). Vibe-Alert is a wearable health device that can be used by nurses to respond immediately to high-risk fall patients by creating a system that reduces alarm fatigue and increases the response rate. 

The other winning team, H2Whoah, was made up of Olivia McNamara (Civil Engineering), Anjali Arigela (Computer Science), Paige Ruschke (PR Engineering), Anvita Patel (Computer Engineering), and Shruti Nanda (Mathematics and Economics). H2Whoah is a collaborative effort geared towards creating a preventative product that collects and monitors data in water zones.

The Innovation Challenge Semifinal event occurs on February 26. The Semifinal simulates the investor boardroom experience in which contestants present their ventures to a panel of judges in a closed-door setting and compete for a spot in the final on April 1. (February 2020)