Apr 23, 2010

I School Projects Win "Big Ideas" Competition

The CITRIS Big Ideas competition named four teams of I School students as winners yesterday. "NextDrop" (including MIMS students Thejo Kote and Niranjan Krishnamurthi) shared the first-place prize with "Virtual Electrified Vehicle Company" (including MIMS student Gopal Vaswani), "WE CARE Solar" (including doctoral student Melissa Ho) shared the second-place prize, and "Local Ground" (MIMS students K. Joyce Tsai and Sarah Van Wart) received an honorable mention.

First place co-winner  ($8000):
NextDrop addresses the challenge of unreliable piped water in developing countries. When water arrives intermittently and unpredictably, households lose hours waiting by the tap for the water to arrive. NextDrop is a social enterprise to provide households with reliable, near real-time information about water arrival via the mobile phone infrastructure. In addition, NextDrop will generate water delivery data for utilities to improve services and efficiency. The NextDrop team includes I School master's students Thejo Kote and Niranjan Krishnamurthi, along with teammates from public policy, engineering, and business. They are advised by assistant professor Tapan Parikh.

First place co-winner  ($8000):
Virtual Electrified Vehicle Company (VEVCo) aims to help solve one of the largest problems confronting the scale-up of electrified vehicles: citizen education. Test drives are too expensive, so the team has created a “virtual test drive.” VEVCo’s virtual test drive offers a unique, customized, and fun solution using mobile location-based apps and online social networking. The virtual test drive provides customized predictions for individual drivers and acts as a neutral broker of information about about electrified vehicles.

Second place co-winner ($5500):
WE CARE Solar promotes safe motherhood and reduces maternal mortality in developing regions by providing health workers with reliable lighting, mobile communication, and blood bank refrigeration using solar electricity. The WE CARE Solar team includes I School doctoral student Melissa Ho, along with students students in public health, business, and the Energy Resources Group.

Honorable mention ($1000):
Local Ground
combines the best of paper and pixels by using paper maps to capture rich qualitative data, creating digital versions of the hand-drawn annotations, then importing the annotations to a digital map. Using paper maps instead of GIS devices makes the data collection process cheap, portable, and, most importantly, easy to learn. Local Ground is developed by master's students K. Joyce Tsai and Sarah Van Wart, also advised by Tapan Parikh.

Last updated:

August 23, 2016