MirmanX: Year Two cohort pitches, awaits selection process

12/13/16 03:56:pm
| Category: MirmanX

Move over, Shark Tank.

Now in its second year, MirmanX is on the precipice of announcing the three projects that will be funded for 2016-2017 year. The announcement will be made at an all-school assembly tomorrow, December 14. Earlier this semester, twelve Upper School students were selected from an impressive applicant pool to work together to refine their ideas for moonshot projects to make the world a better place.

The students selected were: Naalah C., August D., Breya D., Dashiell F., Eli F., Sheila G., Amaan I., Morgan J., Dhilan K., Jacob L., Sophia S., and Benjamin W. Students Conor B. and Matthew S. will be joining the cohort next semester to work alongside their peers. New students may be selected for the cohort next semester dependent on interest and recruitment (cohort members can recruit from outside the cohort to round out their project teams).

These students have worked to refine their original proposals, ranging from documentary films to assistive devices for those with physical disabilities. At the beginning of their journey, the students also received direction on design and entrepreneurial process from alum Eric Bollens (’94-03), Chief Advisor for the project.

After weeks of hard work in the Innovation Design lab under the supervision of Director of Technology Michael Taggart, the cohort gathered together on December 5 to make their pitches to the MirmanX Venture Board. The Venture Board is comprised of estimable alumni Bollens, marketing strategist Ashley Felts ’92-96, inventor and entertainer Eric Gradman ’87-’93, serial entrepreneur and angel investor Deron Quon ’82-’86; parent and orthodontist Dr. Monica Ajmera; and surgeon Sandy Heck (husband of Mirman alumna Bobbie Andelson Heck).

(Left to Right: Ajmera, Heck, Quon, Bollens, Felts. Not pictured: Gradman)

Although all MirmanX cohort members will have the opportunity to join a team on a funded project, only three projects will be chosen by the Venture Board to be funded to the tune of $10,000 each for development into a working prototype. After the cohort’s time has come to a close, the students will retain their intellectual property, and can continue working towards bringing their product to market if they so choose.

The panel was visibly impressed with all of the candidates, and even though they can only choose three projects to fund, that didn’t stop them from bringing their considerable business and entrepreneurial acumen to bear during Q and A sessions following each cohort member’s presentation. Leaders in their fields, the panel was just as quick to laud each student for his or her extraordinary ideas as they were to point out room for growth.

In less than a day, a new chapter will begin in the history of MirmanX. Good luck to all of our students as they await the results of the pitch panel!

MirmanX: Year Two proposals

Morgan J., Dhilan K.: Interchangeable, modular entertainment systems for cars and homes

Benjamin W.: An app to streamline parking in commercial lot

Sheila G.: A camera-equipped “defender” robot for solo soccer players looking to improve their skills.

Naalah C. and Breya D.: A sensor and app to detect exact levels of fuel left in propane tanks used for off-grid heating systems.

Eli F.: An affordable virtual-reality system for biking and exercise enthusiasts.

Dashiell F. and Jacob L.: A high-end robotic arm for people with disabilities.

Sophia S.: A documentary on the dangers on texting and driving.

Amaan I.: A “smart” cane for the visually impaired that uses speakers and haptic technology.

August D.: A subscription service math tutoring website that recognizes types of equations and problems and gives hints to students rather than solving the problem for them.