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Sac State scores trifecta at systemwide competition


In the media: "Sacramento State sweeps Idea to Product contest," Sacramento Business Journal

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Sacramento State student teams swept the CSUPERB competition Jan. 9-11 in Santa Clara.

Sacramento State not only won an unprecedented third straight CSU Idea to Product (I2P) statewide biotech competition over the weekend in Santa Clara; the mighty Hornet teams captured second and third places as well.

The I2P contest is part of a CSUPERB (California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology) symposium designed to broaden exposure to cutting-edge biotechnologies, product-focused innovation and the spectrum of career paths available in the life sciences. The Jan. 9-11 symposium brought together CSU students, faculty and administrators as well as biotech professionals working in academia, government and industry.

This marks the 26th annual CSUPERB symposium, but the I2P competition began just three years ago.

Sac State’s squads consist of students from the colleges of Business Administration, Engineering and Computer Science, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

The first-place winner is Sac State team StemPATCH, which produced a surgical kit addressing postoperative adhesions. Student team members:

  • Melissa Rose Bardo, Biological Sciences
  • Kristen Rebecca Hernandez, Business
  • Jordan Alexander Kreun, Business
  • Manmeet K. Singh, Biological Sciences

The second-place winner is Sac State team VERAS-2F, which devised a wearable monitor designed to address firefighter safety. Student team members:

  • Michael Steven Bloss, Business
  • Mark Glenn Feranil, Engineering
  • Gabriel Robert Schlaefer, Business
  • Linda Torres, Engineering

The third-place winner is Sac State team VIGOR, which produced a portable tracking/guidance system for visually impaired individuals that has obstacle and collision avoidance. Student team members:

  • David Anderson, Engineering
  • Fernando Garcia, Business
  • Joseph Thomas Guiliano, Business
  • William Michael Low, Engineering

The Sacramento State mentors who accompanied the I2P teams to the Santa  Clara competition are Professor Anne Fuller, College of Business Administration; Professor Warren Smith, College of Engineering and Computer Science; and Smith’s wife, Judy.

Professor Smith, who has guided previous victories, believed this was the strongest Sac State contingent yet. Though he wasn’t prepared for a clean sweep, the Hornet squads clearly were. The students were honing their presentations for months under the guidance of Smith and other team mentors. “We are so proud of these students,” Smith said. Professor Fuller echoed his praise, suggesting that the campus “celebrate all their hard work and the sweet results they achieved.”

Their achievement is a tribute to the students and staff who worked so hard to perfect their projects, all of which have commercial potential. The I2P judges are affiliated with industry, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists looking for creative ideas that can become marketable products. Their questioning of the teams was especially intense.

Sacramento State’s trifecta in Santa Clara also reflects the academic rigor of the Colleges of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science, and Business Administration that prepare graduates for an increasingly competitive workforce.

For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156. – Alan Miller