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Tech Titans State-wide Competition Encourages Young Inventors to Develop their Ideas

April 2, 2007 — A new competition has come to the state of Utah, and its winner could end up in your living room or doctor’s office in the not so distant future. The Technology Titans Innovation Challenge (Tech Titans) is a state-wide idea competition organized by students from the University of Utah business and engineering schools. Any college student from the state of Utah is eligible to enter.

The goal of the competition is to encourage students to develop and share new inventions and designs that have the potential to be state-of-the-art technologies and make an impact on the lives of people in Utah. Brad Stoker, Student Chair of the Technology Titans Innovation Challenge and its co-founder is very excited about the competition. “It is very possible that some of these entries will turn into products or technologies that we will use on a regular basis. It is also possible they will turn into new Utah start-up companies, or even be licensed to some of Utah”s most successful businesses. Either way, the economic impact could be great,” said Stoker.

All Utah colleges and universities were eligible to compete this year. Students from 7 of the twelve Utah schools entered in disciplines such as science and engineering, software, telecommunications, biotech, and energy. This year’s entrants include students from the University of Utah, BYU, Utah State, Weber State, Westminster College, Dixie and UVSC.

University of Utah Engineering Dean Richard Brown was happy to see a wide variety of engineering disciplines represented. “Our students want to see their inventions improve health, safety and the enjoyment of human life. The Tech Titans Competition encourages these creative students to think about the applications of their engineering ideas,” said Brown.

The twelve finalists were announced on Monday, March 19 and include inventions in mechanical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, and bioengineering.

Jack Brittain, University of Utah Vice President for Technology Venture Development says the Tech Titans competition is a great opportunity for young inventors. “Competitions such as Technology Titans continue to support and mentor the future innovators of our State. The ideas are creative and hold great promise making an economic impact for the State of Utah,” said Brittain.

After further evaluation from the judges, the winners will be chosen and recognized in conjunction with the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge at the Final Awards Banquet April 19.

The winners will receive cash and in-kind prizes, also a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on staying in research, working in industry or in business,” said Stoker, “people who go through this competition will have a better concept of the real-life process in developing an idea into a potential product.”

Tech Titans is a non-profit student-run organization funded by both public and private sponsors. Sponsors include Omniture, Micron Technology, BD Medical, Battelle, Grow Utah Ventures, Idaho Technology, TraskBritt, vSpring Capital, and the University of Utah’s Technology Commercialization Office.

With the first year being a complete success, Stoker says he expects the Technology Titans Innovation Challenge to become even stronger in the years to come.