Student Innovation Challenge: diet pet food, simple small claims systems and more.

Tech Launch Arizona (TLA)‘s first Student Innovation challenge has provided five students with funding and commercialization help for their innovations. The goal was to engage students in the innovation process, to create unique inventions that benefit society.

The Inventions:

  • Mushroom cultivation for fresher produce with unique flavors, medicinal benefits, and easy grow-ability. A biosysems engineering graduate student developed it with the intention of allowing any market and restaurant to grow fresh mushrooms on site.
  • An online small claims system, to assist with claims under $2,500. These may incude rental disputes, which the law student behind the idea experienced first-hand.
  • Diet pet food that veterinarians can administer to induce weight loss/prevent obesity in both dogs and cats. The honors student behind this idea first thought of this in her thesis work, where she tested pet obesity and owners’ guilt when placing their dog on a diet.
  • Un-cloggable toilet paper, an idea that came to an undergraduate student when travelling on an airplane that had to land because all toilets were clogged with toilet paper.
  • An app for real-time detection of road roughness, to assist with highway maintanance. This was developed by a civil engineering graduate student, who intends to calculate road roughness utilizing smartphone sensors and accelerometers.

The Student Innovation Challenge

TLA modeled the Student Innovation Challenge after a similar staff-based program that provides funds to UArizona employees to develop early-stage inventions and prepare them for commercialization. Open to both undergraduate and graduate students, the challenge involved activities like creating a prototype, confirming functionality and exploring scalability. The students filed out invention disclosures and worked with TLA on intellectual property protection, asset development and strategy planning.

Eighteen proposals entered into the first challenge, and the five above were chosen as the most commercially viable. Each of the winning students was paired with a TLA licensing manager; they will assist with intellectual property protection and strategic planning, to make these projects into commercial products. Following the success of this first challenge, TLA will launch its next in September.

Are you developing a new invention? Did you know your R&D experiments could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’s largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms, offering tax credibility assessments, claim preparation, and advisory services. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs and CFPs. For more information please visit us at or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

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