Winners of Spring 2019 Change the World Challenge Announced By Rensselaer

April 10, 2019

Winners of Spring 2019 Change the World Challenge Announced By Rensselaer

Students proposed innovative tools to improve firefighter safety, information security, and more

The Paul J. ’69 and Kathleen M. Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently held its biannual Change the World Challenge, where six student teams were each awarded a prize of $1,000 for the business concepts they pitched to solve complex global challenges. Two teams received honorary mentions and were awarded $500 each.

Established in 2005 and funded by Rensselaer alumnus Sean O’Sullivan ’85, the Change the World Challenge takes place each semester to give Rensselaer students the opportunity to develop their innovative ideas to change the world into viable business concepts. The student innovation contest is one of many entrepreneurship programs offered by the Severino Center each year.

“We thank Sean O’Sullivan for his continued support of student entrepreneurship,” said Thomas Begley, dean of the Lally School of Management. “The Change the World Challenge is an important step for student entrepreneurs as they gain a better understanding of the problems they are trying to solve.”

The winners and honorary mentions of the spring contest embody the entrepreneurial spirit of The New Polytechnic, the vision for education and research at Rensselaer.


  • Lucien Brule ’19 and Cameron Hackett ’19 created Iconoclasm, a reverse engineering platform for malware analysis that allows information security professionals to access all of their tools in one platform and collaborate in real time.
  • Olivia Paradis ’19, Katelynn Vega ’20, Scott Benson ’20, and John Karam ’20 created CRAWL, an assistive ventilation solution that improves mobility for young patients who are unable to carry the weight of traditional equipment.
  • Erica Frommer ’19, Maximilian Reisinger ’19, Emily Dunn ’19, Peter D’Almeida ’19, and Ilsse Salinas ’19 created Pediatric Hip Spica Cast Add-On, an enhanced design to prevent skin irritation for children as young as 6 months old who are subject to traditional casting for bone realignment.  
  • John Fantell ’20 and Hayley Roy Gill ’20 created AnAssist, an IoT platform with advanced data analytics and visualization tools that enables business professionals with varying levels of programming and machine learning knowledge to extract valuable data patterns.
  • Doctoral student Adam Ryason, Emma Prescott ’19, and David Van Buren ’19 pitched Intelligent Machine, a platform that trains practitioners in the performance of endotracheal intubation using augmented reality.
  • A student created Dalmation Mask, a self-contained breathing apparatus to enhance firefighter safety and equipment durability.

Honorary Mentions:

  • Nirav Patel ’19 created OMNI, a platform that promotes an enriching campus community online while encouraging face-to-face student interactions to combat loneliness.
  • Preetham Jagadeeshan ’19 created EcoLush, a platform to help citizens in India plan meals and find cooking inspiration.

“We congratulate the winning teams of the Change the World Challenge and thank all the students who participated,” said Jason Kuruzovich, academic director of the Severino Center. “We are inspired by the active role that Rensselaer students take in solving complex challenges and, ultimately, changing the world.”  

Each winning team of the Change the World Challenges held in the fall and spring semesters is now eligible for the $5,000 “Best of the Best” grand prize given out at the end of each academic year. The winner of that award will selected on April 17.


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