Ten finalists from nearly 600 entries pitched their new inventions to a panel of judges but only one would be named USF’s top innovator. This year the honor went to Mica Jadick for her cereal sifting device that filtered out the crumbs that make the last bowl of cereal unpalatable. Second place went to George Seits for his French-fry condiment holder. Third place went to Katie Warren for her Boo Boo Baboon which is a plush toy that holds a cold-pack around a child’s arm or leg to help with an injury. The judges further awarded a special recognition to Jonathan Ullom for his device to safely clear clogs of grass from lawn mowers.
|Principals, Teachers, Parents…..want to keep in touch with the competition? Have friends, colleagues or family that may want to participate next year? Please forward them this link to stay updated on the 6th Annual Competition for 2014.
Keely Karnes took home the Outback Top Trademark Award for HEAR-RINGS™ which is her brand for audio ear buds that integrate with earring jewelry. MOSI’s president Wit Ostrenko awarded all finalists annual family memberships to Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry.
2011 USF Young Innovator champion Marissa Streng received her utility patent award from USF President Genshaft. Marissa has commercialized her dog drying invention which is currently for sale under the federally trademarked brand, Puff-N-Fluff.
The ten finalists were:
- Cooper Tharrington Sound Asleep Clock
- George Seits Built-In French-Fry Condiment Holder SECOND PLACE
- Grace Larson Portable Hitching Post for Dogs
- Jonathan Ullom Mower Chute Clearer SPECIAL RECOGNITION
- Katie Warren Boo Boo Baboon THIRD PLACE
- Keeley Karnes Hear-rings
- Mica Jadick Cereal Container that Removes Crumbs FIRST PLACE
- Nicholas Boyd Safe Teen Driver System
- Prerna Ravinder The Back Benefactor
- Stamatina Liristis Scratch O Matic
Prior to the annual live competition a workshop is conducted to prepare the children for presenting their inventions to the finalist judges. Teaching the workshop this year were USF assistant professor Dr. Emily Ryalls and EASA Software CEO and 5-time finalist judge Dr. Sebastian Dewhurst.
Dr. Ryalls advised finalists that being nervous was perfectly normal and actually gives speakers an edge with a rush of adrenaline. Everyone has “butterflies” when they give a big presentation…the key is to get those butterflies to “fly in formation.” Another key topic covered by Dr. Ryalls is how to organize their presentation into logical stages and keep things brief.
Dr. Dewhurst gave the audience and acronym to remember: NBAC which stands for “needs, benefits, advantages and costs.” Relaying each of these topics to a judge (or investor) conveys the value of the invention most efficiently. Both presenters advised the finalists to hold back on revealing their invention until they’ve established the problem they seek to solve and build some anticipation for the solution.
All those attending noted the inventions and presentations were some of the best ever presented in the competition and there is great anticipation for Monday night’s event.
From all of us at the USF Young Innovator Competition – Happy Holidays! We hope you are inspired over the holiday season to apply your intellect and creativity in solving everyday problems around you. Nothing is more satisfying that inventing something that others enjoy using.
Remember that every young inventors receives a day pass to MOSI and a chance to win thousands of dollars for themselves and their own school.
Finally, save the date….Monday, February 11, 2013 at 6 pm at the University of South Florida Patel Center. The finalist competition is a wonderful celebration of innovation with food, music, videos, invention displays and live presentations before a panel of expert judges. Grand prize winners will be selected that night.
Please thank our sponsors that made this possible.
Kevin Harrington shared some of his experience and advice on marketing products directly to consumers and dealing with inventors. Kevin is a returning judge for the Young Innovator Competition and one of the founding “Sharks” on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” He is Chairman of the Board of TVGoods and Ambassador of As Seen on TV.
Paul Sanberg, USF Vice President of Research and Innovation sat down with Anna Hopen to discuss what student inventors can do with their new ideas.
Paul Sanberg’s interviewer has a tough time not laughing.
Competition founder Anna Hopen (13) (left) spoke with HSN assistant producer and USF alumnus Ashley Blanton on her experience working in television.
TAMPA. NOV. 16, 2011: MOSI’s president Wit Ostrenko gave the USF Young Innovator Program a backstage tour of its newest exhibits and the new Idea Zone for Tampa Bay inventors. MOSI is a long-time partner of the USF Young Innovator Program. Every competitor wins a day pass to MOSI and finalists of the competition are awarded annual family passes to MOSI. For more information on visiting MOSI click here.