Student companies chosen as finalists for magazine award

RECYCLING FOR HOPE: Billy Walters, Clay Tyler, Susanna Young and Gabrielle Palermo are working on converting shipping containers into medical clinics for expecting mothers in Africa. They are competing against four other college teams for the chance to win $5,000. (Photo by Christopher Leone)

 

Three start-up companies created by ASU students have been chosen as finalists for Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual College Entrepreneur of the Year award.

The magazine narrowed down its contestants to five finalists, including ASU student companies G3Box, Ellens Technologies and Boson Inc. Each company is a past winner of ASU’s Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative, a campus program that funds student ventures.

“It shows ASU has definitely become an entrepreneur campus,” said biomedical engineering junior Gabrielle Palermo, co-founder of G3Box.

The winning company will receive $5,000 and will be honored at an awards ceremony in Dallas. The company will also be featured in the magazine’s January and December 2012 issues.

Palermo’s company plans to turn large metal shipping containers into fully functional medical clinics.  The company will partner with nonprofit organizations and outfit the containers according to the needs of each group. Containers would include equipment such as a ventilation system and solar panels.

“There are all these shipping containers that end up in idle ports around the world when they are decommissioned,” said Susanna Young, mechanical engineering graduate student and co-founder of G3Box.

The group is currently working on a prototype container that sits in the Research Support Services building parking lot on the Tempe campus. The group hopes to have one container in Africa by summer 2012.

Management entrepreneurship senior Jeremy Ellens, co-founder of Ellens Technologies, created a mobile application that allows professional veterinarians to diagnose sick animals. When the application is launched in September, veterinarians will be able to search through a database of symptoms and their causes.

“It speeds up the diagnosis process and lets them get to treatment quicker,” Ellens said.

Many veterinarians have already contacted the company to tell them how much this application will positively affect their work, he said.

Biological sciences graduate Christian Stewart, co-founder of Boson Inc., helped design 3-D eyewear that could be used by educators, scientists, engineers and other professionals to see virtual simulations of their work.

For example, biologists could view a virtual image of splitting cells or construction engineers could view the depth of space in a computer-generated room, Stewart said.

“It’s very different when you view these in 3-D versus a slide or in 2-D,” Stewart said. “This is all what 3-D provides: something different than viewing it on a computer monitor.”

The company has already completed one pair of glasses and expects to receive its inventory in October. The public can preorder glasses at bosoninc.com.

A panel of judges and online voters will help decide the winner of the magazine’s contest. Anyone can vote for a finalist at entrepreneur.com/e2011.

The three groups agreed the best part of winning this contest would be the exposure and credibility given to their companies.

“It would definitely help us with funding and continuing things, but it would also put us on a major spotlight with investors,” Stewart said.

Reach the reporter at mmistero@asu.edu