InVenture Prize Competition 2019

Meet the 2019 InVenture Prize finalists!

Participating Teams

Ethos Medical

Members of Ethos Medical Team
1st Place
Dev Mandavia
Biomedical Engineering
Duluth, GA
Lucas Muller
Mechanical Engineering
San Diego, CA
Cassidy Wang
Biomedical Engineering
Dublin, OH
Ethos is making spinal taps quicker and safer by providing an intuitive real-time needle guidance system for use right at the patient’s bedside.
Winning the InVenture Prize would be a huge catalyst for progress! It would allow us to file a patent to protect our invention; it would fund the cadaveric and animal testing we need to do to prove the utility of our device; and it would open doors to clinical experts, business experts, and anyone else who can help us grow!


Members of TremorTrainer Team
2nd Place
Nisha Goddard
Biomedical Engineering
Trabuco Canyon, CA 
Nicolette Prevost
Biomedical Engineering
Alpharetta, GA
Colten Spivey
Material Science and Engineering
Franklin, TN
A therapeutic glove that implements counter-weight technology in order to enable those suffering from hand tremors to regain their ability to perform any everyday task.
Winning InVenture Prize will mean three big things for TremorTrainer: First, it would allow us to gain exposure, meaning people who could benefit from our life-changing device will hear about! Second, we would be able to file a design patent and upscale our sale of the device. Finally, it would give us the resources necessary to move our manufacturing in-house, in order to make our glove more readily available to patients at a cheaper cost.


Members of Nix Team
People's Choice
Mohammed Aamir
Mechanical Engineering
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Thomas Olson
Computer Science
Ellicott City, MD
Robert Patterson
Mechanical Engineering
Sandy Springs, GA
Vishwa Shah
Computer Science
Tampa, FL
Dustin Sloan
Mechanical Engineering
Millbrook, NY
Milan Smart
Mechanical Engineering
Orlando, FL
Cory Stine
Mechanical Engineering
Saint Louis, MO
The vape that automatically tapers nicotine.
Winning InVenture Prize would give us the resources we need to manufacture more prototypes and deploy them into the hands of real users. This would provide us the critical data we need to fine tune our product.

Finger Flyer

Members of Finger Flyer Team
Austin Condict
Computer Science
Athens, GA
Jacob Parker
Mechanical Engineering
Windham, NH
Finger Flyer is a whole new way to interact with quadcopter drones, that circumvents a standard radio controller by literally putting the power of flight at your fingertips.
Winning InVenture Prize would be a dream come true for Finger Flyer. It would grant us the platform and financial support to help fufill our goal of introducing the next generation of youth to the power of drone technology in a fun and novel way. 


Emilio Conde
Mechanical Engineering
Locust Grove, GA
Michael Francesconi
Mechanical Engineering
Johns Creek, GA
Johnny Maroun
Computer Science
Marietta, GA
Colin Santoro
Mechanical Engineering
Suwanee, GA
Chris Truong
Computer Science
Newnan, GA
Erik Van Winkle
Mechanical Engineering
Dunwoody, GA
HANDLD is a disruptive, first of its kind device that gives cyclists the power to identify, record and report violations of safe passing laws across the nation.
Winning the InVenture Prize would enable us to continue pursuing our passion and allow us to take the next steps towards saving lives through safer roads.


Max Brauer
Computer Science
Atlanta, GA
Jacqueline Elliott
Computer Science
Brattleboro, VT
Ryan Miles
Computer Science
Dacula, Georgia
Cliff Panos
Computer Science
Winter Park, FL
Hanwen Xu
Computer Science
Atlanta, GA
Unfoldit is a game of paper folding and hole punching designed to test and enhance spatial abilities.
Winning the InVenture Prize would give us the funding for the marketing, branding, and legal fees that we need to protect Unfoldit and advertise it to reach the top charts of the App Store and Google Play Store. This prize would give us the resources we need to stack up to the competition and empower Unfoldit to be a leader in the next generation of apps.

Ashley Mengwasser

Ashley Mengwasser
Ashley Mengwasser

Atlanta’s Ashley Mengwasser is a six-time Emmy-winning lifestyle host, writer, and producer. Her decade-long career is proof that millennials make great television! Georgia Public Broadcasting audiences know her best as the quirky, daredevil co-host on Georgia Traveler

Ashley hosts a variety of entertainment content, from DIY to doggies! In 2018, she was handpicked to host Lowe’s Home Improvement’s explosive YouTube contest “DIY-No-Mite.” Then, she packed a duffel bag full of treats to film the top-syndicated pet travel special Pets Welcome Here (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, The CW). With her adventuresome basset hound Rosie “co-hosting,” the pair explored pet-friendly vacation destinations in the Eastern U.S.  

This former high-school Valedictorian has a deep appreciation for media that educates. This is Ashley’s fourth year co-hosting the Georgia Tech InVenture Prize and ACC InVenture Prize. She also enjoys working behind the camera. In 2015-2016, she traveled to China to write, co-direct, and EP the cultural documentary Chinese Tea: Elixir of the Orient. The program swept six Emmys in 2017, and Ashley won a solo Emmy in the writing category.

Ashley acquired her passion for people and telling their stories during undergrad at Agnes Scott College. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude in 2009 and holds a B.A. in English Literature.

When they are not brainstorming invention ideas (dog translator?), Ashley and Rosie enjoy long walks, naps, and a shared bowl of spaghetti.



Faith Salie

Faith Salie
Faith Salients

Faith Salie is an Emmy-winning contributor to CBS Sunday Morning and a regular on NPR’s Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!  She’s also host of the new podcast “Real Good.” She’ll debut Off-Broadway later this year in her solo show, Approval Junkie, based on her memoir of the same name. She's a storyteller for The Moth with her story viewed over 2 million times and included in the New York Times bestseller Occasional Magic.  Faith’s hosted five seasons of the PBS show Science Goes to the Movies, but perhaps her biggest science cred was her role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which got her beamed up and landed her on a trading card worth hundreds of cents. Faith grew up in Atlanta and is a Rhodes scholar who graduated from Harvard, aka the GA Tech of the North. She lives in New York City, where she continues to say “y’all" and often bakes Coca-Cola cake.  


Behrooz Abdi

Behrooz Abdi
Picture of Behrooz Abdi

Behrooz is a high-tech industry entrepreneur, who has taken on numerous operational, executive, and board director roles, and has invested in several private and public companies. Several of these companies have been acquired, creating over six billion dollars of cumulative value.

Since 2012, he has been CEO and President of InvenSense, Inc. (NYSE: INVN), a world leading provider of sensors for smart phones, drones, wearables, smart homes and automobiles. In December 2016, InvenSense agreed to be acquired by TDK Corporation for $1.3B, where Behrooz serves as the President of the MEMS Business Group, as well as CEO of the InvenSense subsidiary.

Prior to InvenSense, Behrooz was Executive Vice President and General Manager at NetLogic Microsystems (NASDAQ: NETL), a leader in intelligent semiconductor solutions for the Internet, acquired by Broadcom in 2011. Before that, he was the President and CEO of RMI Corporation, which he merged with NetLogic in 2009. Before joining RMI, Behrooz served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of CDMA Technologies at Qualcomm, Inc., a provider of wireless technology and services. Prior to joining Qualcomm, he held several operational and engineering leadership positions at Motorola, Inc. As Vice President and General Manager for Motorola Semiconductor’s wireless mobile division, he contributed to building many wireless technologies, and participated in the early growth of consumer cell phones, earning him Motorola’s Distinguished Innovator Award.

Behrooz holds a BSEE from Montana State University, and MSEE from Georgia Institute of Technology, and has over 20 patents in chip design, software, and sensors.


Erika Tyburski

Erika Tyburski
Erika Tyburski headshot

Erika is the CEO and co-founder of Sanguina, a company that spun out of Georgia Tech and Emory University in 2014. Sanguina is focused on development and launch of home use wellness tools, including AnemoCheck, a color-based disposable screening tool for anemia, which won 2nd place in the Georgia Tech InVenture Prize competition in 2013. Since winning, Sanguina has raised over $1.5M in non-dilutive grant funding for continued development and commercialization of several technologies. In 2017, the company received FDA clearance on AnemoCheck for clinical use, and the company is currently pursuing over-the-counter clearance.Sanguina aims to market direct to consumer offering access to “your health at your fingertips”.

Erika graduated from Georgia Tech with her degree in biomedical engineering in 2012. Since graduating, she has garnered both technical and entrepreneurial skills through hands on execution of all preclinical and clinical assessments, regulatory studies and strategies, quality management systems development, company operations, funding management, and team expansion. Erika holds one method patent for her AnemoCheck technology, and has several others pending. Erika also functions as the Director of Operations for the newly NIH-funded Atlanta Center for Microsystems-Engineered Point-of-Care Technologies (ACME-POCT). There she assists teams who have developed or are developing microsystems-based POC technologies to define their clinical needs, conduct clinical validation, and refine their technology with the objective of accelerating the path to translation and clinical adoption and directly addressing the barriers thereof.


Blake Patton

Blake Patton

Blake Patton is the founder and Managing General Partner of Tech Square Ventures where he leads investments in enterprise software, marketplace, and platform technology companies. Under his leadership, the firm has invested in 51 early-stage companies. He has represented Tech Square Ventures as a director or observer on the boards of Pointivo (Chairman), (Chairman), PreTel Health (Chairman), UserIQ, Haste, Sequr (acquired by Genea) and Salesfusion (acquired by SugarCRM). Blake is also the co-founder and Managing General Partner of Engage, a collaborative corporate venture and innovation program in partnership with 11 leading companies, Georgia Tech, Tech Square Ventures, and Invest Georgia.

Prior to founding Tech Square Ventures, Blake was General Manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech – named by Forbes as one of the “Top 12 Incubators Changing the World”. Prior to leading ATDC, he served as President & COO of Interactive Advisory Software and EVP of iXL, an internet services company that he joined through the acquisition of Swan Media and was part of the executive team that grew the company from startup to over $300 million in annualized revenue and an IPO. He started his career as an Associate at SEI Corporation.

Blake is an active leader in the technology community, serving on the boards of Engage, the Center for American Entrepreneurship (former Chairman), Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures (GATV) and High Tech Ministries (Treasurer). He also serves on the advisory boards of ATDC and Georgia Tech’s Cowan-Turner Center for Servant Leadership and is a former Chairman of Venture Atlanta, a Georgia Research Alliance Industry Fellow and a member of the selection committee for the NC State Chancellor’s Innovation Fund.  Blake is a part-time Professor of the Practice at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business where he teaches Entrepreneurial Finance.

Blake earned a Bachelor of Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Georgia Tech, where he was captain of the swim team. He was inducted into the Georgia Tech College of Engineering’s Council of Outstanding Young Engineering Alumni, is a former Georgia Tech Alumni Association Trustee, and previously served on the Georgia Tech Advisory Board.