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Thursday, December 13 , 2018, 7:48 pm | Fair 55º


Water-Wise Entrepreneurs Take Top Prize at UCSB’s New Venture Competition

The winners of the 2016 New Venture Cometition at UCSB, Team OSMO, which includes Anjana Krishnan, Rahul Sangodkar, Edixon Puglisi and Kyle Neumann.
The winners of the 2016 New Venture Cometition at UCSB, Team OSMO, which includes Anjana Krishnan, Rahul Sangodkar, Edixon Puglisi and Kyle Neumann. (Eric Isaacs / UCSB photo)

A device designed to help scientists study water by making it easier and less dangerous to collect water samples was the winning technological innovation at the UC Santa Barbara Technology Management Program’s New Venture Competition Finals May 19, 2016.

OSMO, a company started by UCSB students Kyle Neumann, Rahul Sangodkar, Edixon Puglisi and Anjana Krishnan, took home the grand prize of $12,000 for its advanced, versatile, portable water-sampling instrument following a day of pitching ideas and demonstrating technical and business expertise to a room full of peers, mentors and tech entrepreneurship veterans.

For showing the most business promise, OSMO bested 5 other teams of student finalists, who in turn were selected from over 30 groups after a rigorous half-year of TMP and NVC entrepreneurial training.

Working with mentors who themselves have successfully built and promoted technology companies, the students learned how to take an innovative idea and turn it into a solid plan from which a promising tech venture can grow.

Sangodkar delivers a portion of OSMO’s product pitch to a room of peers and mentors at the 2016 New Venture Challenge. Click to view larger
Sangodkar delivers a portion of OSMO’s product pitch to a room of peers and mentors at the 2016 New Venture Challenge. (Eric Isaacs / UCSB photo)

No one left empty-handed:

» Vibe, a wearable that allows visually impaired users to sense the world around them was also a favorite, taking home a $2,500 California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) People’s Choice Award, as well as a $5000 Citrix Impact Award and the $7,500 second place prize.

» EVMatch, which seeks to connect the growing number of electric vehicle drivers with local owners of EV charging facilities, took the $3,000 third place prize.

» InGrain, a company that turns brewery waste into sustainable packaging for the craft beer industry, took the $5,000 Elings CNSI award and the Sonos speakers presented to the fourth place winners.

» Opal, a company that designs next-generation high efficiency displays, took home a recently established $5,000 innovation award named for UCSB mechanical engineering alum and accomplished tech entrepreneur Cliff Hannel.

» Dermachill, a handheld cooling device that alleviates itchiness associated with eczema and other skin conditions, also received a $2,500 People’s Choice Award.

Now in its 17th year, the NVC has helped train countless business-minded young tech innovators and spun off over two dozen companies, thanks to a combination of the campus’s consistently high performing engineering and sciences colleges and the mentorship and real-world tech entrepreneurial experience of the TMP faculty.

Sonia Fernandez writes for the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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