Learn more about the winning Spring 2018 Senior Project teams

Published May 2018

Written by Laura Henschel

On Monday, April 23, IA students prepared for the final project in their very last Innovation Academy course required for the minor—Senior Projects. In this two-credit course, students use a multidisciplinary team-based approach to form an entrepreneurial plan—from the idea’s inception to prototyping and making sales pitches to real professionals in the area, students go through the entire business start-up process. At the end of the semester, students present their business plan to a panel of judges who decide which team has the most developed vision. These students become the recipients of the Top Innovator Award

In Dr. Citty’s section of the course, the room saw ideas that ranged from college advising phone apps tointeractive therapy scrapbooks. The group that beat out all other competition was Ktop, a product designed to extend the shelf life of bananas by wrapping the stems to slow ripening. The five women behind the concept—Delaney Goff, Brittany Kinney, Anne Arden Pomar, Allison Schaper, and Emily Pozo—wanted to not only extend the shelf-life of produce, but also provide an eco-friendly alternative to wasteful life-hacks that suggest using plastic wrap and tin foil to slow banana ripening.

Although the project was conceptualized for another IA class, the founders’ Catalyst—a prototyping showcase to solve global issues - the team is thinking big for the future of Ktop. Retailers have already taken notice of their ingenious design. “We are already in contact with development companies to help with the production,” Goff said. “We are even in contact with Bed, Bath, and Beyond® to sell our product there!”

The other Senior Project section was instructed by Professor Amy Bucciarelli—her section likewise brought many fresh business ideas to fruition such as a recycling service that rewards their top recyclers and a gardening subscription box to teach children about healthy living. Project Harmony took home the crystal for Bucciarelli’s section. The online subscription-based service is designed to provide the families of dementia patients with coaching, support, and community through the difficult times surrounding the diagnosis and care of a family member suffering from a severe decline in mental ability.

 “Project Harmony developed out of the personal experience of all three team members,” Professor Bucciarelli said. “They have had to cope with family members living with dementia and seeing loved ones carry the burden of taking care of them. Their personal stories enhanced their ability to innovate a great solution.”

The beautifully-designed idea was not only unique, but also constructed with “human-centered research, confidence, and knowledge of their innovation,” Professor Bucciarelli said.

Looking back on the semester, the program is proud to have supported so many students in their entrepreneurial endeavors for Senior Projects. While some teams go on to pitch their ideas to bigger industries and others simply look back fondly on their carefully-designed presentation, all students will bring newly-developed skills—from collaboration to research techniques - to their academic and professional lives.

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