Locating Veins, Smart Crossbows Headline Student Startup Competition

San Antonio — A team of University of Texas at San Antonio students who created an infrared device that helps medical workers more easily find veins won first place in the $100k Student Technology Venture Competition, hosted by the university’s Center for Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship (CITE).

The students’ product, called InfraVein, reflects infrared light, making the veins easier to spot, according to Joanna Carver, a public affairs specialist at UTSA. The group of engineering and business students (see below for their names) who won the competition received $52,000 in startup funds and services, while second place received $34,500 and third place took home $26,000 in funds and servcies, Carver wrote in an e-mail after the event Tuesday.

The venture competition takes place twice a year, and first was hosted in 2007, a year after CITE was founded. The event is sponsored by a plethora of local organizations, including co-working space Geekdom, the San Antonio Technology Center, Texas Research and Technology Foundation, venture capital firm Targeted Technology, and the 80/20 Foundation, among others, according to UTSA.

Engineering students develop a new technology product for the competition, and business students create a plan to commercialize the product in the competition. The team of students who create first-place winning infraVein were Kristen Hamalainen, Sanjiv Patel, Andrew Shiels, Kreg Zimmern, Rachel Loeffler, Cody Baker, Alexis Morales, and Ileana Gonzales.

The runner-up was a group that developed a crossbow sight called Bullseye, which intends to improve aim and records a video that is sent to a user’s phone or computer, Carver says. That team was Raafat Seif, Yonggun Lee, Carmina Francia, Ian Stubblefield, Elizabeth Martin, Aaron Castellanos, and Federico Berlanga.

The third-place team developed a website that provides video, blog, and podcast tutorials targeting amateur gambling site users, Carver says. That team included Taylor Brauer, Brandon Snow, Zachary Rodriguez, Aljon Lu, and Jake Federico.

Some of the competitions past winners have found substantial success, including Leto Solutions and its cooling system for prosthetics, and Invictus Medical with its FDA-approved device for relieving extracranial pressure on newborns.

David Holley is Xconomy's national correspondent based in Austin, TX. You can reach him at dholley@xconomy.com Follow @xconholley

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