Challenge Lab (IEOR 185) uses a competition-based format to challenge students work in cross-discipline lean start-up teams vying to create innovative products. Teams navigate realistic weekly challenges introduced through case studies. They learn about real-world constraints, use rapid iterative build, and validate development methods. Through frequent interaction with the sponsors and mentors, student teams develop a working prototype and “white paper.”
Once per year Challenge Lab asks students to use their innovation and teamwork skills to create a social venture. This year, students were asked to create ventures utilizing Twilio APIs which offer text, voice, and VOIP services. Students came up with memorable ventures such as a disaster relief registry that acts just like a wedding registry and an app that helps those living in conflict zones avoid danger while it is happening.
1st place team – “Ladon”
25 million Americans do not speak English. Ladon addresses this concern by providing live language translation for emergency services.
2nd place team – “DonorRegistry”
Too often when disasters strike there is a mismatch between what victims need (e.g. 10,000 blankets) and what donors give (e.g. 10,000 water bottles). Team DonorRegistry’s idea is very simple: use the well known framework of a wedding registry to create a service that allows donors to give disaster victims exactly what they need.
3rd place team – “Central”
Volunteers are a valuable part of the economy. The current value of a volunteer hour is $23.56 in California. Yet, when disaster strikes, many volunteers are unsure how to best utilize their time. With Central, spontaneous volunteers can bypass the normal on-boarding process and get linked into a role where they are most needed.
- Dispatchr – A next generation 911 application
- BuildUp – Modernizing the neighborhood emergency response team
- LifeLine – Improving response to medical emergencies with locally trained first aid providers.
- MOSC – Prioritizing mobile network traffic during crises.
- Masar – Reporting and navigation tool for those living in areas of conflict.