Students find unprecedented success with entrepreneurial projects

Florida Poly Entrepreneurial Projects
Junior Michael Jernigan presents his Sinkhole Underground Utility Detector project at the 2018 Slingshot Polk competition. Jernigan took 1st place for a $3,000 prize.

Florida Polytechnic University students and aspiring entrepreneurs have had great success at state and local competitions with their innovative projects designed to bring high-tech solutions to real-world problems.

Over the past two years, Florida Poly students won $30,000 for their projects. Florida Poly was also the only university to place in the top three spots in the statewide Governor’s Cup in 2017 and 2018.
“Our students are exposed early on to cutting-edge technology that is changing and leading the next major markets,” said Justin Heacock, entrepreneurship coordinator. “With that comes a lot of very interesting ideas, and it’s paying big dividends.”

Florida Polytechnic University nurtures students’ entrepreneurial spirit by helping them develop their ideas through mentorship and guidance.

“We teach our students to take their applied STEM degrees and to focus on solving real-world problems based from a deep fundamental understanding of their customers. That’s key for a successful entrepreneur,” added Heacock.

The successful student-led projects so far this year include:

InstaList – A device that captures, scans, and lists items for digital selling in under 30 seconds.

  • Students: Andre Ripley (junior, computer science, U.S Virgin Islands), John Sarnecky (junior, mechanical engineering, Naples), Michelle Culbert (senior, computer science, Pompano Beach)
  • 3rd Place at the Governor’s Cup, $1,000 prize
  • Finalist at the 2018 USF Daveler Entrepreneurship Award Program, $2,500 prize

Smart Catheter – A device that can diagnose and prevent infections in the lines that create sepsis.

  • Student: Michael Jernigan (junior, electrical engineering, Auburndale)
  • Winner of the 2018 USF Daveler Entrepreneurship Award Program, $5,000 prize

Sinkhole Underground Utility Detector – A device with a sensor that penetrates soil levels to identify the composition of sinkholes as well as underground utility lines using a drone.

  • Student: Michael Jernigan (junior, electrical engineering, Auburndale)
  • 1st place at the 2018 Slingshot Polk, $3,000 prize

SwitchTape – Combines music therapy with streaming services to create a mood-shifting experience to help people suffering from mental health issues, changing their moods through music.

  • Students: Nathan Roberts (junior, computer science, Palm Beach, Celeste Ramirez (junior, computer science, Deland), Shania Madramootoo (sophomore, mechanical engineering, Dover), Braden Duke (senior, computer science, Clermont)
  • 2nd Place at the 2018 Slingshot Polk, $2,000 prize
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