picture may be worth 1,000 words, but to DePaul University students, an idea
can be worth $1,000—or more. Young entrepreneurs earned a share of $16,000 in
scholarships for presenting their innovative ideas at the third annual Chicago
Student Innovation Awards.
“We are so impressed and proud of our students’ creativity and interest in
solving challenging problems,” says Lisa Gundry, director of DePaul’s Center for Creativity and Innovation (CCI). The center hosted the Feb. 28 event
with co-sponsors ColemanEntrepreneurship Center, Chicago Innovation Awards Foundation
and TCF Inventory Finance.
The winning students pitched their ideas to an audience of 300 people and were
judged by members of the Chicago innovation community and DePaul alumni. In
addition to student performances, attendees also enjoyed a panel discussion
with local innovators and entrepreneurs.
This year’s competition drew a record number of nominations, with more than 80
students or student teams submitting innovative ideas. “The number and quality
of applications we received this year has been outstanding and surpassed all my
expectations,” says Javier Monllor, assistant professor of management.
The student winners are:
- Gold level
($5,000): George Sobolevskiy, a business major, for his self-powering
electrochemical water detector that alerts homeowners of water leaks.
- Silver level
($2,500 each): Christopher Fanucchi, Driehaus College of Business, for his
“Car Roulette,” which lets car buyers experience a variety of makes and
models of vehicles when purchasing new cars. Paul Nordlund, Kellstadt
Graduate School of Business, for “Inflightables,” inflatable infant seats
for airline flights.
- Bronze level
($1,000 each): Six students earned the bronze-level award. Their ideas
included a mobile app for interacting with DePaul student clubs, a video
entertainment database, an aquaponics farming system and more.
See a full list of the winners and read more about the awards.