USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase

Congratulations to the award winners and all 24 teams that competed in the 11th Annual USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase on October 13, 2017. For a list of the 2017 winners, see below and read our full news story at:

Click here for the 2017 Program Booklet.

SAVE THE DATE: the next USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase will take place Friday, October 12, 2018 at USC’s University Park Campus during Trojan Family Weekend. The call for student applications will open in April 2018. The Showcase is an annual business competition hosted by the USC Stevens Center for Innovation where USC students showcase their inventions and startup ideas in all disciplines to the entrepreneur and business community, competing for thousands of dollars in USC-sponsored funding to take their concepts further. The competition is open to all current USC undergraduate and graduate students.

During the daylong event held at USC’s University Park Campus, student teams present and pitch their startup ideas and prototypes to expert judges from the entrepreneur and investment communities as well as Trojan Family Weekend attendees to compete for cash awards that can help to develop their ideas further. The most promising innovative student teams are selected as finalists to participate in an afternoon fast pitch round featuring 3 minute business pitches by each team to a panel of esteemed  judges, and an awards ceremony for the winners.

Each year, the USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase features a Keynote Speaker. The 2017 Keynote Speaker was Rohit Shukla, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Larta Institute, an internationally-recognized technology accelerator based in Los Angeles that has helped more than 10,000 companies commercialize their innovations in science and technology. In 2016, Mark Stevens was the Keynote Speaker. Mr. Stevens is one of Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists and benefactor to the USC Stevens Center for Innovation.

On October 13, 2017, $31,600 in USC-sponsored prizes were awarded in six categories: USC Stevens Breakthrough Innovation, Best Business Concept, Most Potentially Disruptive, Venture Validation, Global Impact, and the Trojan Family Choice Award. Projects are judged on a number of criteria including uniqueness, business concept, progress in funding, and the ability to transform the world. Prizes are sponsored by: USC Stevens Center for Innovation, Diem Shotwell Metcalfe Family Fund at the USC Marshall School of Business, Daniel Floersheimer, USC Marshall Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the USC Marshall Center for Global Innovation. The 2017 lunch sponsor was the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering (AMI-USC).

The USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase has distributed over $149,000 in awards to USC students since it began in 2007.




Winners of the 2017 USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase (for full coverage, read our news story at

$10,000 USC Stevens Breakthrough Innovation Award
Project that best demonstrates a breakthrough industry-altering approach to solving a societal problem.
Funded by USC Stevens Center for Innovation 

  • Carbon Thumbprint
    A more accurate transcutaneous carbon dioxide (CO2) monitor that will not burn babies.
    Team leader: Saif Ali Azam, Keck School of Medicine of USC

$10,000 Best Business Concept
Project with the best business model to be financially viable in the marketplace.
Funded by the Diem Shotwell Metcalfe Family Fund at the USC Marshall School of Business

  • EventAll
    An online platform for organizers to create custom event apps tailored to their needs, giving fans the best possible experience.
    Team leader: Alvin Liang, USC Thornton School of Music

$5,000 Global Impact
Awarded to the project with the most innovative idea to solve global social or environmental issues.
Funded by a donation by Daniel Floersheimer

  • International Student Environmental Coalition
    An international network of 30 countries that unites and empowers students anywhere in the world to act for climate justice.
    Team leader: Kayla Soren, USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

$2,500 Most Potentially Disruptive

Project most likely to completely transform its marketplace by making previous solutions obsolete.
Funded by the USC Marshall Center for Global Innovation 

  • Vibraille
    A device that converts text from a computer/phone to a braille-like format which can be read with a tactile hand.
    Team leader: Luke Vincent Naman, Keck School of Medicine of USC

$2,500 Venture Validation

Project closest to market with the most progress gaining market traction including securing investors, funding, and marketing.
Funded by The Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the USC Marshall School of Business

  • Lahtt Sauce
    An all-purpose chili oil sauce made with a proprietary blend of simple ingredients, and is ideal for dipping, stir-fry, and marinade.
    Team leader: Maxine Lau, USC Marshall School of Business

$1,600 Trojan Family Choice Award
Project voted most popular by the attendees of Trojan Family Weekend.
Funded by the Diem Shotwell Metcalfe Family Fund at the USC Marshall School of Business

  • MedMind
    An app that makes it easier than ever before for cancer patients to manage their drugs and side effects and take control of their options.
    Team leader: Nina Singh, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

All 24 participating teams (listed below) at the 2017 USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase were an excellent representation of USC student innovation. For details about each team, view our event program booklet.

  • Bunje SMART
  • Carbon Thumbprint – Finalist and Winner of the USC Stevens Breakthrough Innovation Award
  • Connecting 2 Communities
  • CoupleGoals – Finalist
  • Emotion Variance Analyzer
  • EventAll – Finalist and Best Business Concept Award Winner
  • Happy Pill, LLC
  • Infusion – Finalist
  • International Student Environmental Coalition – Finalist and Global Impact Award Winner
  • Intram
  • Kal-tein
  • Lahtt Sauce – Finalist and Venture Validation Award Winner
  • Makora Health Initiative
  • MedMind – Finalist and Trojan Family Choice Award winner
  • Modular Ears
  • Nom Noms
  • QCeq – Finalist
  • Rubedo Pharmaceuticals
  • Spoiler Alert
  • The Huff Cough Trainer – Finalist
  • ThinkNow ConneKt
  • Threshold 5
  • Tommy Bot
  • Vibraille – Finalist and Most Potentially Disruptive Award winner

Thanks to the students and teams that participated, and to the generous sponsors for making this event a success. Special recognition goes to the panel of 2017 Judges and to our Keynote Speaker and Master of Ceremonies:

  • Rohit Shukla, Larta Institute (Keynote Speaker)
  • Professor Pai-Ling Yin, USC Marshall School of Business (Master of Ceremonies)
  • Jennifer Dyer, Executive Director, USC Stevens Center for Innovation (Judge)
  • Bob Metcalfe, University of Texas (Sponsor & Judge)
  • Julia Metcalfe, Facebook (Sponsor & Judge)
  • David Florence, Stanton Chase International (Judge)
  • Carlos Gutierrez, Larta Institute (Judge)
  • Karen Heidelberger, Deerfield (Judge)
  • Seth D. Levy, Nixon Peabody (Judge)
  • Michael E. Meyers, T.R. Winston (Judge)
  • Caleb Smith, Salem Partners (Judge)