Projection aid system takes top prize in business plan competition

May 3, 2019 | News, UToday, Business and Innovation
By Staff

Four students who formed C-See Tech took the $10,000 prize in the ninth annual UToledo College of Business and Innovation’s Business Innovation Competition.

Kizito Kosi Akunna, Shayla Glynn, Alex Gibson and Deric Anthony — all fifth-year seniors majoring in bioengineering — developed the C-arm projection aid system. The attachment for new and existing C-arm X-ray devices aims to greatly reduce the amount of pre- and postoperative medical imaging by projecting the X-ray image onto the patient’s skin.

Bioengineering students, from left, Kizito Kosi Akunna, Shayla Glynn, Alex Gibson and Deric Anthony won $10,000 for their company, C-See Tech, in the UToledo College of Business and Innovation’s Business Innovation Competition.

“This device will cut down the number of X-rays needed during a surgical procedure,” Gibson said. “Essentially, this would aid a surgeon during a procedure, which would originally require multiple X-rays, to make appropriate markings on the skin before the first incision.”

The team developed a proprietary algorithm that filters the digital output noise of the C-arm image in order to project a clear, accurate image of the patient’s skeletal system onto his or her skin by using a downward facing vertical laser projector.

“It means a lot to all of us, especially to see an idea originally only meant for a college course become so successful,” Gibson said. “Not only is it a great honor to win the competition, but this means that our invention may someday be a reality.”

The team expressed gratitude to Dr. Halim Ayan, associate professor of bioengineering, as well as the Department of Engineering: “Without their support, we would not have gotten this far,” Gibson said.

“Obtaining a patent is our next step, as well as testing to hone in exactly what we want the final product to be. This is where our prize money will likely be going,” Gibson said.

The winners of the competition were announced April 19 in the Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement in the College of Business and Innovation.

Out of the 19 entries, six semifinalists were selected for an oral presentation in front of the judges.

“We congratulate all entrants for the exceptionally high-quality proposals they submitted. These technologically innovative ideas exhibit creative and analytical thinking within the University campus,” Dr. Sonny Ariss, professor and chair of management, said.

“We believe the wisely comprehended business ideas that won this year’s competition form a concrete foundation on which these entrepreneurs can build successful businesses. Our goal is to help increase the number and scale up businesses in Ohio,” Ariss said.

Finishing in second place and winning $5,000 was Forefront Prosthetics by Devin Toelke, Taryn Carmody, Emily Merris, Luke Schimmoeller and Derek Sutter. Forefront Prosthetics is focusing on creating an affordable, high-quality upper-limb prosthetic.

CLLK placed third and won $2,000. Founded in 2018 by Lauren Bakaitis, Clare Byrne, Katie Gilson and Leah Walchanowicz, CLLK offers an innovative solution to cast discomfort by providing mobile cold therapy, which will reduce swelling, skin inflammation and soreness.

“The College of Business and Innovation stands ready to offer guidance to help these teams emerge beyond the University into the community,” Ariss said. “We want to see these ideas and business plans successfully implemented, generating jobs, and enhancing the economic growth of the region.”

The Business Innovation Competition was open to all UToledo faculty, staff and students. The first-place $10,000 prize is sponsored by Owens Illinois Inc.; the second-place $5,000 prize is sponsored by C. William and Paula Fall Business Plan Award Fund; and the third-place $2,000 prize is sponsored by PNC Bank.

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