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State of Florida Healthcare Innovation Competition offers students $10,000 prize

What do a grocery store, Google Glass apps, and a motorized surgical device have in common? They're all inventions by Florida university students designed to meet a need in the healthcare industry.

On Monday, April 7, college student innovators from across the state will share their ideas for revolutionizing the quality and delivery of healthcare — and they may receive a chance to make those ideas reality. Winning student presentations will receive cash prizes of $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, and $2,500 for third.

Florida students from eight universities will pitch their ideas for innovations in healthcare at the University of South Florida Byrd Alzheimer's Institute, 4001 E Fletcher Ave., Tampa, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Florida Blue, The National Academy of Inventors and the USF Center for Entrepreneurship are partnering to promote this innovative program to encourage early-stage healthcare innovation and entrepreneurship in the state of Florida.

Florida Blue executives will be on the panel at the event that will evaluate the presentations, along with local business professionals, judges from the National Academy of Inventors, and USF faculty.

"The students will have to be laser-focused on what's new and different about the innovation, identify a solution for solving a problem in healthcare, and articulate how this new innovation will positively impact the quality and delivery of healthcare," said Michael Fountain, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

In addition, presenters will also have the opportunity to apply to be selected for Florida Healthbox -- an incubator-type program that identifies high-potential healthcare technology startups and provides them with the resources, support, and network to enable rapid development and growth. The presenters are students attending USF, the University of Florida, the University of Miami, the University of Central Florida, Florida International University, the University of North Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and Nova Southeastern University.

This year, nine presentations by students will include:

  • A non-invasive device that measures parameters for heart failure;
  • A neighborhood grocery store catering to low-income families;
  • A female urinary device that enables women to stand while urinating;
  • Google Glass applications for people with cognitive and physical disabilities;
  • A portable, solar-powered autoclave for sanitizing medical equipment;
  • A product that allows consumers to measure UV sun exposure;
  • And Sono Station, an operating room table-mounted motorized surgical device that allows greater precision for spinal ultrasounds.

The Center for Entrepreneurship is a nationally ranked, interdisciplinary center, and is part of the USF Muma College of Business, in collaboration with the USF College of Engineering, the Morsani College of Medicine, and the Patel School of Global Sustainability.