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GIX Student-led Teams Compete in GIX Innovation Competition Finals

Date: August 25, 2018

A group photo of Cohort 1 GIX students in Team Robodog. Featured in the photo (from left to right) is Bety Mehide, Benjamin Keller, David Franco, and Chengxi Xia

Five student-led teams from the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX) are gearing up to present their high-impact ideas, projects, and prototypes to a panel of world-renowned judges in the final round of this year’s GIX Innovation Competition taking place in Beijing on Sunday, August 26th. One hundred teams competed world-wide for one of the 20 finalist spots.

Nicholas Becker and Zoe Zou, GIX graduate students and co-creators of the finalist project Varista, both agree the competition has helped broaden their perspective on what it means to compete globally. “We are really excited to compete in Beijing,” said Becker. “The chance to validate our product internationally is very valuable. (Potentially) winning the prize will give us the resources to conduct real market testing, refine our processes, and help us be more prepared to meet with investors.”

Now in its third year, the GIX Innovation Competition strives to spur innovative solutions to local and global challenges. Competing teams, comprised of students, inventors, and entrepreneurs, are required to design and develop impactful solutions in future-forward fields, some of which include education, environmental protection, healthcare, transportation, fitness, entertainment, robotics, and information accessibility. This year’s cash prize pool is $160,000 USD.

Arielle Leung, GIX graduate student and team leader of the finalist project Miirabella, views the competition as a way to address the prevalence of gender and social issues.

“Winning this competition demonstrates possibilities for women in tech,” said Leung. “I’d like to empower the next generation of women going into technology-focused fields to dream big and to help them overcome the struggles of finding support while developing the technical solutions that will shape the future.”

When asked what has contributed most to her success in the competition so far, Arielle highlights the strong expertise of her team members. “One person can’t do it all. Having a great idea does not always lead to a great solution. It all depends on the execution. The Miirabella team was formed by a strong software engineer, Darren Yang, who was also a winner of the GIX competition in 2016; a talented UI/UX designer, Yifan Liu, who has worked with Baidu on multiple design projects; and an experienced business manager, myself, who has worked at both Microsoft and Amazon – it works great for the project!”

From addressing global health and supporting elderly care to remedying the complexity of makeup application, each of the GIX student-led projects provides solutions within unique markets across highly diverse fields.

Read more about the projects below:

GIX Team Members: Zoe Zou, Nicholas Becker

Catering to the growing supplements market, which is predicted to reach $230 billion by 2022, Varista is a personalized solution that provides consumers with at-home testing kits to determine their supplement needs. Varista enables consumers to make informed decisions, removing the guesswork involved in choosing the right supplements for their health needs.

GIX Team Members: Arielle Leung, Yu Yang, Yifan Liu

Miirabella is a cutting-edge mobile solution that leverages 3D Facial Recognition, Computer Vision, and Augmented Reality (AR) technologies to remedy the complexity of makeup application. Miirabella helps users expand potential beauty options at the lowest possible cost. It also provides real-time assistance on makeup procedures in ways that are both fully customizable and interactive.

GIX Team Members: Benjamin Keller, Bety Mehide, Davo Franco

Robodog strives to provide elderly care to the growing senior population. Its features, which include biometric data and health monitoring, voice interaction, emotional recognition, and personal assistance, provide seniors with the love of a pet and more, without the maintenance needed to care for a real dog.

DyVA (Dynamic Voice Authentication)
GIX Team Members: Yu Zou, Xu Yan

Designed to replace the existing account login system, which uses passwords and security questions, DyVA (Dynamic Voice Authentication) is a smart solution for protecting your personal and sensitive information.  By combining biometric prints and other proprietary technologies, DyVA simplifies the signup process, improves customer experience, and enhances the overall level of security for its users. It’s also intended to integrate seamlessly with existing business infrastructure.

GIX Team Members: Haochen Zhan, Jacques Feng, Zhiyuan Ma

NewHab’s patient-friendly wearable devices strive to improve the level of rehabilitation services that currently exist in China. Targeting the many patients suffering from mobility restriction, NewHab is designed to facilitate the distribution of professional resources for post-surgical orthopedics, boosts the efficiency of in-clinic physiotherapists, and enables rehabilitation telemedicine via a web portal accessible to both patients and therapists.