NDSU Innovation Challenge Awards Ceremony

FARGO, ND – Over lunch on April 17, 2018 the NDSU Research and Technology Park recognized the incredible students who gave their final presentations and had been selected as winners. NDSU President Dean Bresciani and Provost Beth Ingram both spoke about the inspiration that students show to others during hard work and dedication during the Innovation Challenge. The NDSU Research and Technology Park in collaboration with the NDSU Office of the Provost are proud to announce the 2018 Innovation Challenge winners in the Product, Service and Social Impact tracks:



1st: Raquib Hasan, Abbey Wohlers, and Meredith Schroeder working on “Osteo-Fill,” a moldable putty-like substance that works to cure infections.

2nd: Hanaa Mansour and Matthew Crouse, have created a 3D printed “flask holder” to increase efficiency in laboratories.

3rd: Babak Jahani, creating an antibacterial coating to reduce the spread of disease.




1st: “Ace2Stem” by Shrinidh Joshi, developing “designer” stem cells that assist in repairing the body when struck by disease.

2nd: “T-Prime Therapeutics,” another project of Matt Confeld’s alongside Abigail Zikmund, developing a genetically unique vaccine for cancers in family generations.

3rd: Babak Mamnoon and Chad Rehovsky created “3D Biotumoroids,” a 3D printed chamber that helps to grow and monitor drug treatments of breast cancer.



Social Impact

1st: Jesse Riley, Nikki Ellingson, Elsie McGuigan, and Mackenzie Alexander created “Songbird Creations,” a way to help schools fundraise and increase interest in STEM fields while reconnecting students to nature, away from their screens.

2nd: “PlusOne” by Ted Zipoy, Ian Gilley, and Michael and Timothy Straus, empowering students to donate extra dining center meals to those in need.

3rd: “Breathe Smarter” by Shrindh Joshi, another student with multiple projects, and Divya Sharma, a way of improving patient outcomes and increased efficiency through cloud-based data platform for asthma patients.



In addition to presenting the awards to students the Awards Luncheon took a new spin on their keynote speakers this year. Instead of having a single individual present, a panel of individuals discussed their entrepreneurial journey and how they assist entrepreneurs in launching their businesses. Panelists included Founder and CEO of Stoneridge Software, Eric Newell, Co-Founder of Fargo 3D Printing, John Schneider, and Jenni Huotari the Partner and Director of Business Outsourcing and Strategy at Eide Bailly. Each brought a unique perspective, Eric having worked in the industry for a significant amount of time before using his experience to start Stoneridge Software. John was an entrepreneur the moment he graduated college, turning it into his full-time job only a few years later. While Jenni, has years of experience helping startups like Eric and John make the best financial decisions and ensure they have the right tools to be successful.



The event concluded with the winners receiving checks for $5,000 for the first-place grand prize, $1,000 for second-place and the third-place winners taking home $500. The Innovation Challenge will resume again next year in January with Bison Brainstorming and Pitch Night. Anyone or businesses looking to further the development of student entrepreneurs are encouraged to reach out to Emily Schubert (emily@ndsuresearchpark.com or 701-499-3604) with the Research and Technology Park to become a sponsor at any level.




The NDSU Research and Technology Park is dedicated to enhancing the investments in North Dakota State University by the citizens of North Dakota. Through partnerships with international, national, and regional centers of excellence, as well as high technology-based businesses and the research community at NDSU, we help develop technology-based businesses and broaden the economic base of North Dakota.

NDSU Research and Technology Park is a 501 c (3) non-profit corporation is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Emily Schubert at 701-499-3604 or email at emily@ndsuresearchpark.com.