Blazer Innovation Challenge student winners announced in “Shark Tank”-style competition

Biomedical engineering student Forrest Satterfield received $5,000 to help launch his 3-D-printed prosthetics idea.
Written by: Katherine Shonesy
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Forrest Satterfield's winning video presentation

University of Alabama at Birmingham
students with innovative business ideas won up to $5,000 to help get their concepts off the ground in a competition held at the Innovation Depot this week.

The UAB Innovation Lab (iLab) and Collat School of Business launched the Blazer Innovation Challenge, sponsored by IBERIABANK, earlier this fall to encourage UAB students to develop new solutions to product, service or process challenges.

jack blazer innovFrom left, Erick Jack, Ph.D., dean of the Collat School of Business and Greg King, IBERIABANK executive vice president and UAB MBA alumnus award the winner, Forrest Satterfield.The final five teams of students presented their ideas Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the iLab to a panel of Birmingham business leaders and entrepreneurs who judged the proposals.

Forrest Satterfield, a biomedical engineering student, took home the top prize for his proposal to develop a manufacturing system for motorized prosthetics that marries traditional production of motors with additive manufacturing of 3-D-printed prosthetics. Satterfield took home $5,000 as the first-place winner.

The second-place prize of $2,500 went to Jeremy Mock, an economics and international studies major, for his idea to create a two-sided web- and app-based customer relationship management system that patients can access through a monthly subscription fee allowing them to connect to any provider on their network. 

In third place, and receiving $1,000, Rebecca Klang presented her plan to build an app that tracks grocery purchases and allows users to receive updates on expiration dates. Klang is a business management major. 

In addition to winning prize money, the winners will continue to benefit from valuable mentoring, coaching and other iLab resources to help incubate their ideas and potentially launch their own startup companies throughout the 2016-17 academic year.

“The Blazer Innovation Challenge has helped us engage bright and creative students from throughout UAB to put great ideas into practice,” said Joel Dobbs, Collat’s entrepreneur-in-residence. “Many of our students, either individually or with fellow students, identify real-world problems that they are passionate about solving. The Blazer Innovation Challenge is allowing us to identify, fund and nurture some of the best of these.”

blazer innov 2ndplace2nd-place winner Jeremy Mock presents his video to the judges.Students were able to work individually or as part of a team, but could submit only one idea for consideration. Along with their challenge application, students submitted a one-minute video that explains the idea, the problem it solves and why it is relevant.

The five finalists were selected from an initial pool of 29 applicants, and received coaching through the UAB iLab, including a workshop on using iMovie software presented by Apple. The finalists competed against one another with a revised video presentation and live Q&A before the panel of judges.

The competition winners will present their progress to school and business leaders in April 2017.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our students to put their ideas on the table and receive mentoring and coaching from professionals on how to turn those ideas into real businesses,” said Eric P. Jack, Ph.D., dean of the Collat School of Business. “We were thrilled to partner with IBERIABANK on this challenge and to see the impressive innovations our students developed.”