Category Archives: Awards

8th Annual USF Young Innovator Final Competition

All ten finalists delivered outstanding presentations.  “I cannot stop using the word ‘brilliant’ to describe your inventions” noted finalist judge Bill Green.   Finalist judge Dr. Paul Sanberg observed that many of the inventions addressed alleviating human suffering such as homelessness, low vision mobility, re-purposing waste products and keeping children and pets safe from heat.   The judges faced a difficult decision in selecting the top innovators for 2016.  They were:

Ethan-YehGrand Prize
Ethan Yeh

K-Cup hydroponic garden
Tampa Preparatory School
Annalisa-UrenaFirst Runner Up
Annalisa Urena
Vibration shirt for blind user navigation
Family of Christ Christian School
Denzyl-DowningSecond Runner Up
Denzyl Downing
Training device for jump shooting
Academy at the Lakes

USF Young Innovator Finals

Alexis Martin wins 2015 USF Young Innovator CompetitionThe 7th Annual USF Young Innovator Competition held its finalist competition last night at the University of South Florida.  The ten finalists competed in a live event before five expert judges: Israel Morejon, Valerie McDevitt, Bill Green, Jenn Holloway and Sebastian Dewhurst.  The ten finalists were:

  1. Waishy Harmon Water Spraying Brush
  2. Hanley Riggs Pressure Clothing
  3. Zachary Shinneman Highway Sweeper
  4. Grant Humphries Beach Inflatable Mat
  5. Alenna Spiro Edu-Feedback
  6. Avery New Seatbelt Detector
  7. Sanjana Srinivasan Oil Spreader
  8. Lily Quay Ice Bandage
  9. Marc Taylor Retracting Speed Bump
  10. Alexis Martin No Bully Bracelet

The 6th Annual Outback Steakhouse Top Trademark Award went to Waishy Harmon for her RUSH BRUSH™ trademark for a water spraying brush.

HSN's Bill Green discusses Waishy Harmon's invention with her.

Grand Prize

The $1,000 Grand Prize went to Alexis Martin for her “No Bully Bracelet.”  In addition, she won a new HP notebook computer and HP tablet courtesy of HSN.

Alexis Martin PresentsAlexis Martin and Jenn Holloway

2nd Place

The runner up with Marc Taylor for his retractable speed bump for school zones earning him $500 and a GoPro 3 camera from HSN.

Marc Taylor Marc Taylor wins a GoPro camera from HSNMarc Taylor's cheering section.

Third Place

The third place award of $250 went to Hanley Riggs for her pressure clothing invention for autistic children. HSN awarded her a third generation iPad tablet.

Hanley Riggs wins an iPad from HSNHanley Riggs presents.

USF Young Innovator Finalist Medals

This year the University of South Florida is proud to introduce custom, one-of-a-kind medals for the ten (10) selected finalists selected February 4, 2015 by the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors.

2015 Finalist Medals - USF Young Innovator Competition

These are substantial, premium-grade awards that reflect the intellectual and creative accomplishments of this competition’s top young inventors.  In addition to the medals, the top ten (10) finalists will win annual family passes to Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry, gifts from HSN and a chance to win $1,000 for themselves and another $1,000 for their school.  The deadline for entry is February 1, 2015.   Entry forms are available online.

USF to Honor Student Inventor

George Seits (17) is a two-time finalist in the USF Young Innovator Competition (2012 and 2013).  In 2012, he invented a compacting shovel, particularly useful for hiking and military personnel.

USF Young Innovator - George Seits (2012)USF Young Innovator - George Seits (2012)

Then in 2013, Seits invented a novel packaging configuration for French fries to hold condiments like ketchup while reducing paper waste and costs to restaurants.

George Seits' invention at USF.George Seits presents his invention at the USF Patel Center in 2013

Seits further filed and was awarded United States Patent 8,820,806 September 2, 2014 on his 2012 shovel invention.  USF System President Judy Genshaft and the National Academy of Inventors, USF Chapter will recognize George Seits at the February 11, 2015 Finalist Competition at the Patel Center on the USF Tampa campus.

US Patent 8820806 - awarded to USF Young Innovator George Seits

Bright House Networks High School Competition

The 2015 USF Young Innovator Competition is open to children K through 8th grade.  For high school students we are pleased to endorse the Bright House Network Bright Ideas competition.

Untitled Extract PagesBright House Networks is proud to present Bright Ideas STEM from Today’s Youth… a multi-state competition where high school students can show how STEM – that’s science, technology, engineering and math – can bring their idea to life! Students are challenged to come up with a Bright Idea that takes on a problem that hasn’t been solved before, or approaches a familiar problem in a fresh, imaginative new way!

The deadline is October 31, 2014!

Who is Eligible

Students who are in public, private, or parochial high schools who are at least 14 years old as of the date of entry and are legal residents of the following Bright House Networks service areas:

  • Bakersfield, California
  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Livonia, Michigan
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Tampa Bay, Florida
  • Central Florida (Orlando)

How to Participate

Between September 22, 2014 and October 31, 2014, students can visit and follow the instructions to:

1. create a Contest account and complete the Contest registration form in its entirety;

2. enter Essay #1, an essay of no more than fifteen hundred (1,500) characters describing their idea powered by science, technology, engineering and math to make the world “a better place” including what it does, who you want to use it, and how they thought of it;

3. upload their original Drawing of their idea or upload your Video; and

4. enter Essay #2, an essay of no more than fifteen hundred (1,500) characters describing what science, technology, engineering and math tools are needed to make your idea work

About the Prize

Six finalists will be chosen, one from each Bright House Networks service area throughout the country. These students will travel to Orlando, Florida, where they will compete head-to-head on TV, in front of a studio audience. An expert panel of judges will select one winner. THE BIG winner will have the chance to work with lead innovation firm Fahrenheit 212 – which could help this student’s (or team of students’) dream or idea potentially be realized and fulfilled!
The winner will work with Fahrenheit 212, for a period of eleven weeks, in order to develop a virtual prototype and a business plan that includes:
 a 10-page pitch deck
 a video/virtual prototype/rendering
 a roadmap with next 3-4 steps
 a list of potential partners (with one or more introductions)
The work will be conducted at Fahrenheit 212’s New York office. Bright House Networks will send the Winner, along with one parent/guardian, to New York twice during the eleven week period.

Breakfast of Champions® to Honor Creator of USF Young Innovator Competition

Breakfast of Champions® began its 2014 series with success stories from local honorees who are considered to be a “Children’s Champion” and who bring true meaning to the
term “good sport.” During Breakfast of Champions 2014_Anna and Marielis_Flyerpart II of this IV part series, The Centre Club and its Executive
Women’s Council will be honoring Anna Hopen and Marielis Rivera.

In 2009, Anna Hopen conceived a competition for young inventors, Innovations Express,
with the first competition held in 2010. Ten competitors out of the 79 entries competed in
this “Shark-Tank” style event, and several of the young inventors have since received patents
from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Marielis Rivera, Esq., with Fernandez Florida Law, PA, is very active in the community. She
serves on the Board of Directors of Voices for Children, which provides support to abused,
abandoned and neglected children in Hillsborough County. She also serves as a Guardian
ad Litem, where she provides a voice in court for these children.

To reserve your spot, contact Member Concierge at 813.286.4040 or via Email at

$9.95++ Members / $15 inclusive Non-members/ Reservations, please. Guests welcome!