The Speak Easy team of Zichao Wang and Abhipray Sahoo accepts the top prize in the Undergraduate Elevator Pitch Competition. From left, Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship Managing Director Brad Burke, Wang, Sahoo and OEDK Director Maria Oden. Photo by Marilee Dizon
The inventors of a software-based personal trainer to help people prepare for public speaking won the $1,500 first prize in the Undergraduate Elevator Pitch Competition sponsored by Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) and the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship Nov. 12.
The Speak Easy team of Zichao Wang and Abhipray Sahoo, both electrical and computer engineering seniors, combined high-tech tools to analyze body language, facial expressions and voice control and simulate a real-world scenario in virtual reality for users.
Cash prizes went to six teams in all. The second-place prize of $1,000 went to Comfortably Numb: bioengineering students Andy Zhang and Akhil Surapaneni, mechanical engineering majors Matthew O’Gorman and Mike Hua and computer science major Greg Allison.
The third-place prize of $750 went to Tube Much: bioengineering majors Lisa Sampson, Erin Anderson, Corin Peterson and Ronal Infante.
Fourth place, for $500, went to OutSENTing: mechanical engineering majors Jon Chen, Valeria Pinillos, Margaret Watkins and Eric Yin, and mechanical engineering major Allen Zhao.
Fifth place, for $250, went to revIVe: bioengineering majors Joao Ascensao, William Zhu, Paulina Popek and Gabrielle Fatora and kinesiology major Katie Powers.
The “Most Investable” prize of $750 went to Shell Shock: mechanical engineering majors Courtney Hesse, Jared Elinger, Michael Donatti and Nick Frederking.
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