Entrepreneurship & Innovation Challenge

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Board with titles 2april 2018

Announcing winners of the 2018 Entrepreneurship & Innovation Challenge.


In addition to cash awards, selected teams/participants get evaluated to participate in our ancillary offerings: the S2M Accelerator, NJIT Summer Innovation Accelerator and Johnson & Johnson Consumer R&D Immersion. The program is supported through generous grants and contributions from our sponsors: Allergan, BristolMyers Squibb, Johnoson & Johnson and Nevakar.

For our inaugural year we, we had many good applications, validating the requirement for such initiatives.  In addition to innovation and competitive advantage, the judges focused on choosing teams that can maximize the benefits associated with our ancillary offering to propel company growth. The Entrepreneurship & Innovation challenge Board collectively has selected the following teams for the awards. The award amounts will be disclosed and discussed with the teams shortly.

Entrepreneurship Challenge

1st Place: WordStim: A Language Game for AphasiaIMG_6049_preview

Wordstim, is being developed by Ayana Webb, M.A., CCC-SLP, speech pathologist a clinician. WordSTIM has been tested in the clinical setting with aphasia patients for over four years.  Preliminary results indicate significant improvement in cognitive processing for verbal output. The data is being utilized to develop NIH and NSF grant applications for additional funding.

The AWISNJ award will be utilized to prototype a new, upgraded version of WordSTIM.


Maria V. De Abreu Pineda is the team lead representing this collaborative student project between Steven’s Institute of technology and Rutgers, UMDNJ. CurrentCerebrosen measurement of brain pulsatility during open-brain surgeries is limited to a qualitative determination by means of a surgeon physically feeling the brain. The team’s solution is CerebroSense, a brain pulsatility measurement device that utilizes ultrasonic sensing technology to provide a non-contact, quantitative, and real time determination. With an approximate 160,000 open-brain surgeries performed in the US per year, and an average cost of $60,000 per case due to complications, CerebroSense offers a way to reduce both costs and risks as the first device of its kind to gather quantitative data intraoperatively.

AWISNJ award will be used for further project development.

2nd Place: GoodVibe Medical: Biomechanical Stimulation Therapy for At-Home Treatment of Chronic Conditions

Kaila Trawitzki, the team lead is passionate about disability advocacy and rehabilitativeGoodVibe technology as she struggles daily with ADHD. This NJIT student-lead medical device company is focused on rehabilitative technology through biomechanical stimulation therapy, which uses repeated low-frequency vibrations to loosen muscle tension, improve circulation, and stimulate cells. Initial target market: children with cerebral palsy with potential to expand to other conditions/markets.

AWISNJ award will be used for travel to conferences for customer discovery


3rd Place: ArtVeta: A digital Networking Platform Focused on Creative Arts

Mrinalini Ayachit, Founder. Developing a digital platform to help participants of the creative economy to showcase, collaborate and find opportunities through a Local Trusted Network. A “LinkedIn ++” for creative talent. The AWISNJ award will be utilized towards marketing and development.

LearnRoll3rd Place: Learnroll Immerse: Enabling learning experience through immersive learning, VA/AR education

Sushmita Chatterjee, Founder. The AWISNJ award will be utilized towards marketing and development.

Innovation Challenge

1st Place: Stressband from Robomia: A carpal tunnel stress monitor

CarpalUjjayi Pamidigantam, Founder. A high school students team, Robomia is focused on developing consumer products involving robotic principles. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) also known as median nerve compression is a disorder caused by the pinched compressed nerve causing the affected hand to not move. The company is developing Stressband, a patent pending device that will massage and track the stress on the median nerve and alert when it reaches threshold levels.

The AWISNJ award will be utilized towards marketing and development.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Challenge

The challenge is to designed encourage women who have embraced or plan to lead entrepreneurial ventures. All New Jersey resident STEM female professionals are eligible to apply. Institutional affiliation is not necessary. Two categories of awards are included. Both categories need to fill out AWISNJ Executive Summary Template Powerpoint Template and submit to awis_cjc@yahoo.com by:

New date entre


STEM female professionals who have already graduated are eligible to participate in STEM Entrepreneurship Awards. The top teams will be awarded:

Cash Awards

     1st Place  – $5000

     2nd Place – $2000

     3rd Place – $1000


New Jersey high school and college females/ female led groups are eligible to participate in the Innovation Challenge. Top 4 college and school teams (2 each) will be competing for:

Cash Awards

   College Groups              School Groups

   1st Place  – $500               1st Place  – $500

   2nd Place – $250              2nd Place – $250

Additional Partners:

AWIS STEM to Market Accelerator

 NJIT Summer Innovation Accelerator Membership (No fees or equity taken)

Johnson & Johnson Consumer R&D Immersion.

Executive Summary. The Executive Summary (following the template theme available above) should be submitted as a pdf file to awis_cjc@yahoo.com with a subject line: Executive Summary. It is highly recommended that your Executive Summary highlight the most interesting and important elements of your plan that would inform an external reviewer or judge as to why your idea will succeed.

Business Plan. The Business Plan should be an expanded version of the Executive Summary not exceeding 20 minutes during presentation. It should clearly explain your Products or Services, Market and Marketing Strategy, Operations, Management and Business Model (how your venture will make money).


Pitches will be judged on factors such as innovation of product/service, understanding of the market, growth and sustainability planning, the development of competitive advantage, the availability of management and skill sets, the strength of vision, and well-defined goals.

  • A panel of judges will conduct a blind review of executive summaries to select and invite top teams for the final pitching & awarding event.
  • On March 8, 2018, female leads from invited teams will give a 20-minute presentation of their business plan, including a 60-second Elevator Pitch.
  • Judges will evaluate the presentations and winners will be announced.
  • All decisions by the judges will be final.