The OHSU Student Innovator Challenge is a stepping stone to the Invent Oregon Collegiate Challenge statewide competition, where students present inventions and compete for $30,000 in cash prizes. The annual challenge is open to students from all disciplines; no prior experience is necessary. Projects must be related to health, medicine or bioscience/biotechnology and can be in any stage of development.
The 2020 Student Innovator Challenge winners are Avathamsa Athirasala, Ph.D. candidate in biomedical engineering, and Daniel Mullee, M.D. candidate. Athirasala’s project is a high throughput screening platform for cell response to microenvironment. Mullee’s project is an intraluminal wireless monitoring device.
Leading up to the Innovator Challenge, participants received individualized training and mentorship in taking their ideas to prototypes as well as effectively communicating their science to general lay audiences. Participants were assessed for their overall pitch and the project’s potential impact and progress over the course of the competition.
Their next stop is the Innovation Bootcamp hosted by PSU, where they’ll receive an additional $2,000 grant to develop their prototypes. They will continue to receive mentorship throughout this phase of the competition. Due to the pandemic, the bootcamp and mentorship will take place virtually.
The InventOR finals will take place Sept. 18-19, 2020, at Rogue Community College in Medford, Oregon. Teams from around the state will compete for $30,000 in prizes. The events are free and open to the public — learn more.