Spring '15 Prototyping Fund: Showcasing NYU Students' Inventiveness and Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Reposted with permission from Professor Fayard at 

On April 30th, the Spring 2015 Prototyping Fund showcase took place at the Greenhouse at the School of Engineering with 12 teams presenting the prototypes they worked on during the semester. Undergraduate and graduate students from multiple schools, disciplines and programs – Gallatin, IDM, ITP, School of Engineering, School of Medicine, Steinhardt, Stern – were there to share ideas that they have prototyped (multiple times) and were ready to prototype further.

The teams’ projects and prototypes were varied and inspiring; and the learning from the prototypes insightful, and the next steps each team envisioned all very promising! The range of fields was broad: from apps for socializing through sports or for safety, hearing aid, rehabilitation and attentional control training devices to cyber-security games, devices to help those in wheelchairs climb 1 to 5 stairs autonomously, sensor for MRI or new technology for surgery rooms (See below for a description of all the different prototypes).


The prototypes presented various levels of development: exploring an idea; testing the technical feasibility, or the user interface’ or exploring the users’ interests. Some prototypes like Sea Wave Technology, a system exploring the possibility of using waves’ energy to generate electricity and purify water or $WEAT, a wearable device that tracks sweat output level and assigns it a monetary value based on the wearer’s socio-economic status were more exploratory; others such as MRI-Gradient Mapping, a portable MRI field sensor used to account for magnetic field inhomogeneities in real-time or SayCel, a low cost cellular communication system for developing communities, were focused on developing solutions for “real problems” and strongly inspired by users’ needs. It was exciting to hear all the teams telling us how they were planning to prototype further and refine their ideas.

One of the team SayCel, finalist for the Social Venture of NYU $200K challenge pitched the next day and won! Congrats!

Sea Wave

Several Prototyping Fund Awardees had applied to the Summer Launch Pad program of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute and should know soon if they have been accepted; two teams (Wheels Up and Mindful Music Interactive Object) are participating to theAT&T and NYU Ability Challenge.

Last, but not least, a few nice collaborative discussions arose between faculty and students from the School of Engineering and some of the teams who had developed a prototype requiring further technical expertise! This was very exciting to witness as encouraging multidisciplinary collaborations is one of the missions of both the Prototyping Fund and the Greenhouse.

Good luck to all the teams!

The Prototyping Fund Team (Greenhouse & NYU Entrepreneurial Institute)


List of all the projects exhibited at the Spring’ 15 Showcase:

Energy Harvesting Hearing Aid

A hearing aid/listening device that harvests wasted heat energy off of the head for extended battery life.
Cole Mahlowitz, BA ‘15, Steinhardt

Helping Hand

An engaging all-in-one exercise device for hand rehabilitation resulting from a stroke.
Kenny Brock, MD ‘15, School of Medicine
Vanessa Mahoney, PhD ‘15, School of Medicine
Stephen Veitch


A new technology that aims to prevent loss of medical equipment in the body during surgical procedures.
Marcus Cimino, MD/MBA ‘16, School of Medicine/Ster
Manavjeet Sidhu, MD/MBA ‘16, School of Medicine/Stern

Mindful Music Interactive Object (MMIO):

An attentional control training device used as part of a meditative practice for stress/anxiety control.
Diana Castro, MS ‘15, School of Engineering

MRI-Gradient Mapping

Portable MRI field sensor used to account for magnetic field inhomogeneities in real-time, leading to improved medical imaging quality.
Eugene Goncharov, BS ‘15, School of Engineering
John Bayer, BS ‘15, School of Engineering
Kenny Mai, BS ‘15, School of Engineering
Aye Maung, BS ’15, School of Engineering

NYU Safety App

A mobile application developed during “Hack Your Way to Safety” that allows a user to notify the NYU community when feeling unsafe.
Izabela Correa, MMT ‘16, School of Engineering
Abhinav Jana, MMT ‘16, School of Engineering
Uday Kiran Kollu, MS ‘15, School of Engineering
Krishna Teja Velagapudi, MS ‘15, School of Engineering


An app that connects members of the NYU community through sports and games.
Maximo Sica, MPA ’15, ITP

Protection and Deception

A game for people who are interested in learning more about cyber attacks and security.
John Pak, BS ‘15, School of Engineering
Jatinder Singh, BS ‘15, School of Engineering
Saboor Zahir, BS ’15, School of Engineering


A low cost cellular communication system for developing communities.
Benjamin Cramer, MA ’15, Gallatin
Edwin Reed-Sanchez, MPA ‘15, ITP

Sea Wave Technology

A sophisticated system that can capture the ocean surface waves’ energy, generating electricity and pure seawater.
Gowtham Neerukonda, MS ’16, School of Engineering
Sampath Rallapalli


A wearable device that tracks sweat output level and assigns it a monetary value based on the wearer’s socio-economic status.
Billy Dang, MPS ’15, ITP
Javier Molina, MS ’14, School of Engineering

Wheels UP

A suite of low-cost offerings that enable those in wheelchairs to climb between one to five stairs autonomously.
Shen-fang Cheng, MS ‘15, School of Engineering
Amanda Gelb, MPS ’15, ITP
Amanda Parker, BS ’15, Steinhardt
Stefan Henry