VAKYA Business Model Places in Competition

Karuna Rana and Mayank Bagaria
Karuna Rana (left) and Mayank Bagaria (right) share second and third place awards.

The 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition took place Wednesday (Dec. 5, 2018) in the Opie Library. The Competition was hosted by the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship, a collaboration between Pavlis Honors College, the School of Business and Economics and the Vice President for Research Office.

There were more than 20 participants making up 15 teams from various majors and disciplines who pitched to a panel of judges.

Ideas ranged from hypothermia preventing life jackets to a web-based stress management program. Participants had five minutes to pitch their ideas and present their business model. The judging panel then had time following the presentation to ask questions and provide valuable feedback.

The winners of the 2018 Bob Mark Business Model Competition were:

  • First Place and MTEC SmartZone Game Changer Award – Gary Tropp (Computer Network & System Administration) for VARS (Virtual Advising Registering and Scheduling)
  • Second and Third Place – Tie between Mayank Bagaria (Mechanical Engineering) for Vakya and Karuna Rana (Environmental and Energy Policy) for Reality Check
  • Audience Favorite – Nate LaJoie (Finance) and Michael Betz (Management) for Backpack Keg
  • Honorable Mention – Deanna Springgay (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) for Little Trainer
  • Honorable Mention – Russ Crofton (Mechanical Engineering Technology) for Modern Steel Bicycles

Congratulations to all winners and participants, and thanks to the panel of distinguished judges for donating their time and expertise. The Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship would also like to thank MTEC SmartZone and Arroyo Networks for their support and prize contributions. Photos from the event can be viewed and downloaded here.

The Bob Mark Competition is part of Husky Innovate, a series of workshops and competitions that guide students through key phases of business development while emphasizing strategies for success. More information on upcoming Spring Husky Innovate events can be found at mtu.edu/husky-innovate.

By the Innovation Center for Entrepreneurship.

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Tech student teams compete in business

VAKYA Presentation by the speaker
Presentation on the VAKYA business model by Mayank Bagaria.

Bagaria’s proposal was for VAKYA, a set of glasses that would listen to speech and print the text on the lens for the wearer. Bagaria has those with total or partial hearing loss in mind for the first phase, but the second phase could include translation from different languages.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Joshua Vissers.


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