Idea & Innovation Challenge 2023

The ABCEI’s 2023 Idea and Innovation Challenge Finale

On Thursday, November 9th, The Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosted the Idea and Innovation Challenge Final Event. The event included twelve finalist teams, which consisted of students from various UMBC majors and disciplines. The teams presented their ideas in front of an audience of students, professors, community members, and an esteemed panel of judges, Marjie Cota, Pete Sheldon, and Basil Udo ’22. The finalists also had the opportunity to present in front of our honorary judges and sponsors, Scott Weber ‘85 and Nancy Burger.

This year, The Alex. Brown Center offered three tracks for students to enter: The Technology & Innovation Track, the Social Impact Track, and the Spark Track. After the students in each of the tracks presented, they faced questions regarding their idea from the judges. Once all presentations were complete, the judges deliberated and came to their final decisions for the stand-out ideas in each track. While the judges decided on the winners, the audience had the opportunity to vote on the Best Presentation of the night. The Alex. Brown Center would like to recognize the winning ideas below:

Technology Track:

1st Place: Forecasting the Future

Idea by: Trisha Joy Francisco

Rather than using non-biodegradable weather balloons to measure the weather, Forecasting the Future will use the technology of drones.

2nd Place: SecureAI

Idea by: Hiyanshi Patel

SecureAI will be a cloud service provider that aims to protect users from DDoS attacks using AI and deep learning technologies.

3rd Place: Sphere-Hub

Idea by: Hamza Umar

Sphere-Hub will focus on helping students find affordable housing and the perfect roommate.

4th Place: Career Campus

Idea by: Deevyesh Upadhyaya

Career Campus will utilize machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve the process of applying to college.

Social Impact Track:

1st Place: Smart Green

Idea by: Nhi Nguyen

With the growing population of the world, Smart Green will help supply enough food to the world by growing the edible algae species.

2nd Place: KINTSUGI- Therapy Through Art

Idea by: Vrinda Thapliyal

KINTSUGI-Therapy through Art will utilize Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken items with gold, to improve the mental health of students.

3rd Place: Student Voice Solution

Idea by: Peihan Xu

Student Voice Solution will help the UMBC student population use their voice to enforce change across the campus.

4th Place: Baltimore’s House of Cultivation

Idea by: Alexis Johnson

Baltimore’s House of Cultivation will repurpose abandoned schools into spaces for agricultural growth.

Spark Track:  

1st Place: E3 (EcoEatsExchange)

Idea by: Ruth Abraham

E3 will connect individuals experiencing food insecurity with restaurants with excess food that would otherwise go to waste.

2nd Place: Treasure Meals

Idea by: Anna Lam

Treasure Meals will offer a box for placing leftover food in after food banks have closed for the day so no individuals are left without food.

3rd Place: The Abundance Network 

Idea by: Robin Paranilam

The Abundance Network will be an app that connects people who have extra food with those who need it while also providing a social hub to connect those in the community.

4th Place: GreenChest

Idea by: Marvin Nwachukwu & Marlin Nwachukwu

GreenChest is an app that gives reward points for donating your compost. Collected food will go to Waste to Wealth and the Baltimore Compost Collection.

Best Presentation: E3 (EcoEatsExchange)- Ruth Abraham

Quotes from the Finalists: 

“The Idea and Innovation Challenge is my go to event for the Fall semester. Every year I’ve enjoyed coming up with ideas and presenting solutions to modern day problems. This year, I participated in the new Spark Track offered, where participants come up with ways to combat food waste. My idea, an app called The Abundance Network, focused on connecting people who have extra food with those who need it while also providing a social hub to connect those in the community. Overall, the Idea and Innovation Challenge was yet another fun experience to present my idea as well as listen to the ideas of those in our UMBC community.” -Robin Paranilam

“It was a great experience to present at the idea challenge. I felt like I was on shark tank. It was my first time pitching a business idea and presenting to an audience that large. I had a fun time and I can cross it off my bucket list! It was an amazing experience and I had a great time meeting other entrepreneurs and listening to their presentations.” –Trisha Joy Francisco

“Have faith! Be confident! And if you are ever scared to do something, just do it scared! This opportunity to be a part of the Idea Challenge was amazing and really pushed me to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I had plenty of nerves going into the challenge, but I am very glad that I participated! It was a great experience and learning opportunity.” -Ruth Abraham