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FireHUD Advances to ACC InVenture Prize Finals

The Georgia Tech students will compete against teams from Boston College, Duke University, University of North Carolina and University of Virginia.

Atlanta, GA

Two Georgia Tech students who invented a device to help keep firefighters safe advanced to the final round of the inaugural ACC InVenture Prize competition.

Zack Braun, a computer engineering major, and Tyler Sisk, an electrical engineering major, will compete against students from for four other universities.

The ACC InVenture Prize awards cash prizes to undergraduate students whose innovations aim to solve world problems and make our lives more comfortable. Each of the 15 universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference selected a team of student entrepreneurs for the competition, which is taking place at Georgia Tech. A preliminary round held Tuesday evening narrowed the field to five finalists.

Besides FireHUD, the other finalists are:

BioMetrix from Duke University. This team, led by two women, invented a way to keep athletes and sports teams healthier. Their wearable sensor adheres to the skin, collects data and uses cloud services to quantify rehabilitation progress and provide real-time feedback to reduce athletic injuries. 

CommuniGift from University of North Carolina. This three-member team created a gift-purchasing platform that enables children celebrating their birthday to invite their guests to give to a child in need instead of buying something for the birthday boy or girl. Gifts are sent directly from retail sites to sponsoring non-profits, which distribute the items.

Contraline from University of Virginia. This five-member team is developing a male contraceptive that is long-lasting, non-hormonal and reversible. The non-surgical process is safe, effective and more appealing than condoms or vasectomies, inventors said.

Mocean from Boston College. This three-person team developed a real-time music application that allows an unlimited number of people to play a song at the exact same time. It enables anyone with a smart device to become a live radio station.

The five teams will pitch their inventions before a live audience and panel of judges tonight starting at 8 p.m. in the Ferst Center for the Arts. Georgia Public Broadcasting will air the show live and stream it here.

The winner will receive $15,000 and the second-place finisher will take home $10,000. A $5,000 People’s Choice Award will go the fans’ favorite invention.

The competition is sponsored by the ACC Academic Consortium, which supports academic initiatives among member universities.

The tournament is modeled after Georgia Tech’s InVenture Prize, which started in 2009 to leverage the maker culture and encourage students to push their ideas even further.

Braun and Sisk -- who are both from Newnan, Ga. -- advanced to the ACC contest after winning Tech’s InVenture Prize last month. The first-place prize in that competition included $20,000 and a free U.S. patent filing.

Their invention is a heads-up-display that attaches to a firefighter’s mask and measures heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, body temperature, external temperature and other vital signs. This information will help firefighters determine whether they are overexerting themselves and are at risk for cardiac arrest.

The device also transmits data to the incident commander on the scene, who can view it on a computer through an app.

Last revised May 15, 2020