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Severino Center Announces Spring 2022 Change the World Challenge Winners

Severino Center Announces Spring 2022 Change the World Challenge Winners

By Jeanne Hedden Gallagher

April 19, 2022

The Paul J. and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship has announced the winners for the Spring 2022 Change the World Challenge.

The Change the World Challenge is a biannual competition, open to all current Rensselaer students, that encourages the exploration of innovative business concepts through hands-on customer discovery experiences. Top teams are awarded cash prizes and become eligible for the Best of the Best prize at the end of the year.

The winning teams included:

  • Emily Ngo, computer science, who offered her pitch for Parcel Safekeeping Appliance, an app to try to prevent “porch pirates” from stealing packages

  • Matt Emerson and Parker Murray, both mechanical engineering students, who presented their idea for a fashionable bracelet that can both hold pills and set daily alarms to remind users when to take what medications

  • Computer science students Brianna Jacobs and Noe Horowitz, who pitched the concept of using NFT tokens on resumes as a security measure that would allow verification of education, employment, and salary data.

  • Haley Young, mechanical engineering, and Justin Ottesen, computer science and business analytics, who presented their concept to address the need for a sanitary method for cashiers and customers to exchange money.

A panel of five judges, all Rensselaer alumni, was asked to rate each entry on problem comprehension, customer validation, market analysis, and presentation skills.

Because of the social distancing impact necessitated by the coronavirus, this year’s competition was held virtually. Participants presented pitches that described their business idea and the customer discovery they did to derisk their venture.

Established in 2005 by Rensselaer alumnus and entrepreneur Sean O’Sullivan ’85, the Change the World Challenge supports entrepreneurship education and inspires Rensselaer students to consider ways to improve the human condition.

The Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer guides, mentors, and coaches student-based startup businesses from all disciplines across campus to connect those who are starting businesses to resources and networks within and beyond.


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