'Ecopatch' Wins JagStart Competition

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(photo courtesy IUPUI) (photo courtesy IUPUI)

An idea for a "sensory garden" took the top spot in the annual JagStart Competition at IUPUI. A panel of judges awarded Autumn Fox, a student at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus, the $2,500 first place prize for her "Ecopatch" project.

Competitors made three-minute elevator pitches to judges for their ideas addressing social and economic issues. A total of $5,500 was awarded to the top three pitches chosen by the judges as well as one pitch chosen through an audience ballot.

The "Ecopatch" project is described as "a sensory garden is designed with the purpose of engaging the senses of sight, smell, touch, sound and taste, which is beneficial for people with disabilities and helps to focus the attention of young students." The IUPUC Biology senior says the idea could help bridge the disconnect between students and nature as well as provide a useful learning space.

The other winners include:

Second Place - $1,500: IUPUI senior Julian Keefe for his Stadium Hero service, which aims to help enhance the fan experience at sporting events. Stadium Hero won the 24-hour Sports Innovation Challenge at IUPUI in November.

Third Place - $500: Kelley School of Business MBA student Brian Holden for his Sound Habitat app, which allows musicians and venues to find each other and book performances.

Audience Choice - $1,000: Kelley School of Business MBA student Iris Wang for her Feed Now program, which allows restaurants, catering companies and other businesses to provide surplus food supplies to the local homeless community, low-income households and others under food insecurity.

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