Reposted from Greenhouse Stories


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Wednesday, May 9, the Greenhouse was bustling with excitement as the 13 team awardees for the Spring 2014 Prototyping Fund were sharing their prototypes.

Below is the list of the Spring 2014 awardees.  It reflects the diversity of the NYU schools and the power of collaboration with many multi-disciplinary and cross-schools teams. The ideas covered a broad range of products and services.

  • Beacon: Rucha Patwardhan (ITP); Amelia Winger-Bearskin (ITP)
  • Cognitive ToyBox: Shung Huang (Stern); Lindsey Jones (Stern); Tammy Kwan (Stern); Tianyu Wu (ITP)
  • Flavored Water Purification Drops: Ruchi Hazaray (Wagner); Allison Whaley (Stern); Yuan Wang (Poly)
  • Flow: Claudia Paz (Wagner); Zhenzhen Qi (ITP); Yang Wang (ITP)
  • GreenFeet: Achintya Ashok (Poly); Hubert Kim (Poly); Rahad Miah (Poly); Michael Richmond (Poly)
  • Hacker’s Kitchen: Aditya Brahmabhatt (Poly); Rafael Carabano (Poly); Roberto Loria (Poly); Shuhui Sun (Poly); Yuan Wang (Poly)
  • Kittiebots: Maria Paula Saba dos Reis (ITP)
  • Orb Solar Technology: Itamar Lilienthal (Steinhardt); Grayson Zulauf
  • OT/PT Tech: Diana Freed (Tisch); Claire Kearney-Volpe (ITP); Michelle Penso (Steinhardt); Nikki Zeichner (Poly)
  • Smart Lock G2: Kwok Ben Mak (Poly); Arthur Popovich (Poly); Zhuo Ying Wu (Poly)
  • Soil for Air: Erika Maher (ITP)
  • Specimen Compression Device: Stephanie Blank (SOM); Gizelka David-West (SOM); Patrick Flynn; Jeffery Laut (Poly)
  • Tibia Femur Research: Yang-Ting Lee (Poly)
The teams had to reflect on what they learnt from prototyping. All emphasized how much their thinking evolved during the process - in particular, how they revised their assumptions about their idea.
Here are a few representative quotes:
 At the outset, we split up the project by the expertise of the team members - an electrical side and a mechanical / design one. This demarcation proved false and counterproductive, as we quickly realized that a number of design constraints involved tradeoffs between the two (ORB Solar Device).
Build up 1st prototype as soon as possible so that you have more time to revise the design for a better model (SmartLock G2)
Initially, we intended to develop multiple components...While prototyping we found this model too cumbersome and complicated. (OT/PT Tech)
We learned that even extremely low fidelity prototypes can give us a lot of valuable feedback. (Cognitive Toy Box)
How to pitch the project as a whole, and how to order the narrative in a way that people can understand and feel compelled with (Soil For The Air)
Several teams took an iterative approach, and developed not only one, but several prototypes. All teams were also excited about having the opportunity to present their work and get feedback: the showcase itself was a learning experience! The Prototyping Fund is a collaborative effort of the Greenhouse (with the support of an NCIIA grant) and the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, which we started in the Fall. The efforts, the quality of the prototypes and the learning shared by participants during this second Prototyping Fund Showcase, is a wonderful illustration of the value of the Prototyping Fund.  Thank you to all the teams for their amazing prototypes! We can already announce that there will be a Prototyping Fund in the Fall: so if you have an idea, start experimenting and stay tune for the application.  We are also looking forward to hearing about the Spring 2014 awardees next steps and sharing good news about their projects. In the meantime, join us to congratulate Skinesiology , a team awardee from the Fall Prototyping Fund which won 1st place in the Technology Venture Category of the $200 K Entrepreneur Challenge.


See you in the fall for our Fall 2014 Prototyping Fund Showcase!


The Prototyping Fund Team


Greenhouse Blog