Friday, December 7, 2012

Brown Mechanical Engineering Senior David Emanuel ’13 Wins Elevator Pitch Contest with idea for a Backpack Lock

Brown alumni and students had another strong showing at the seventh annual Rhode Island Elevator Pitch contest, as David Emanuel ’13, a senior mechanical engineering concentrator took home the top prize. It was the fifth consecutive year a Brown student or alumnus has won.

Emanuel pitched Lock’d, which enables travelers to attach their backpacks to stationary objects such as hostel beds and train seats.

“With even just a little bit of funding we will fully develop a working prototype, enabling Lock’d to give travelers what they deserve: a worry-free and relaxing adventure,” he said.

David Emanuel
Emanuel is currently in Danny Warshay’s ENGN1010 class, “The Entreprenuerial Process: Innovation in Practice,” and he and his team developed Lock’d as their semester business plan project. Emanuel has also been active in the Entrepreneurship Program’s Idea Labs. The other members of Emanuel’s team are Amanda Lee ’13, Matthew Klimerman ’13, Joseph Stall ’13, and Mehves Tangun ’13. Stall is a business, entrepreneurship and organizations (BEO) concentrator and Tangun is an engineering and economics double concentrator.

The event, sponsored by the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, was held at the Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus and included 46 presenters. A total of $1,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the top 10 presenters. Out of the 46 to pitch, 14 had Brown connections, including 12 current students. Of the 10 finalists, an impressive six were from Brown.

Three of the top ten finalists were from Steve Petteruti’s Entrepreneurship I class, Engineering 1930G. Cory Abbe ’13, a BEO concentrator, pitched Sonacatch 3D, an all-inclusive trawl sonar system that keeps underwater fishing nets safe from harm. Other members of the team included David Killian, a computer science concentrator, Vanessa Munoz, a BEO concentrator, and Moss Amer, a BEO concentrator.

Teams from Steve Petteruti's Engineering 1930G class
Isha Gulati ’13, pitched PowerHouse, a power output meter that delivers key reading of power output of oarsmen. Other members of her team include mechanical engineering concentrators Elizabeth Gianuzzi ’13 and Francisco Oliveira ’13, and Alice Leung ’13, who is concentrating in electrical engineering.

Tim Kwak ’13, a BEO concentrator, pitched SEVA, software that will allow mariners to indicate their preferred content to be broadcast on a satellite network. Other members of his team included Ilana Foni ’13, a materials engineering concentrator, Ian Hovander ’13, a computer engineering concentrator, and William Gasner, a BEO concentrator.

The other two finalists are also active participants in the Entrepreneurship Program’s Idea Labs. Cliff Weitzman ’16, pitched BoardBrake, an attachable brake for longboards to make skateboarding safer. Sidney Kushner ’13 presented CCChampions, a nonprofit corporation he established to build a national network that links children with cancer to professional athletes.

Established in 2000, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition recently was named one of the top 40 business plan competitions in the country, and has awarded more than $1.2 million in prizes to competitors developing companies across many industries. The contest required the competitors to pitch their business idea to a panel of eight expert judges from the Rhode Island business community in 90 seconds. The elevator pitch contest is a prelude to the annual Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, which features more than $200,000 in cash and prizes. Applications for the business plan competition close on April 1. Winners will be announced on May 2.

Previous Brown winners of the elevator pitch competition include: Julie Sygiel ’09 in 2008, Adam Leonard ’10 in 2009, Theresa Raimondo ’11 in 2010 and Kipp Bradford ’95 Sc.M.’96 in 2011.