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Five Teams Picked as Kaylie Entrepreneurship Prize Finalists

Schematic for artificial heart pumping mechanism being developed by Cor Vitalis, one of the five finalists for the Second Annual Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship.

Contest Benefactor Harvey Kaylie, ’60, Adds $25,000 Cash Prize

Five student teams have been chosen as finalists for The City College of New York’s Second Annual Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship. Over the next four months, the teams will refine their business ideas as they compete for the first prize: financial support and housing to work over the summer in a Silicon Valley garage-like environment to further develop their projects, plus a $25,000 cash award from entrepreneur and contest benefactor Harvey Kaylie, CCNY Class of 1960.

“Our finalists were selected from an outstanding group of proposals submitted by 25 student teams,” noted Dr. Dan Steingart, assistant professor of chemical engineering in the Grove School of Engineering and faculty supervisor for the competition. “We all look forward to their formal presentations in May at which time the judges will choose the winning team.”

Mr. Kaylie, the contest benefactor and president and founder of Mini-Circuits, a Brooklyn-based RF and microwave electronic components design, manufacture and distribution company, said he decided to offer the cash prize to make “the competition a lot stronger and create more visibility and meaning to all of the students. I hope this additional reward can be a game changer in their lives, where they can see that the pursuit of excellence and creativity result in rewards.” 

The finalists’ projects are:

NanoParticle-Based Water Filtration. This team is leveraging a novel nano-particle developed in Herbert G. Kayser Professor of Chemical Engineering Alex Couzis’ laboratory to make long lasting, more effective, low-cost water filtration. Francisco Guzman, a senior chemical engineer major, is team leader. Professor Couzis is team mentor.
Cor Vitalis – A New Design for the Artificial Heart. This team is designing a pumping mechanism for an artificial heart that does not destroy blood cells. Sammy Kupfer, a junior biomedical engineering major, is team leader. Dr. John Tarbell, CUNY and Wallace Coulter Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, is team advisor.

VISTA: Vibro Tactile Intelligent System for Traveling Aid. This team is using vibration actuators in combination with ultrasonic detectors and GPS to use touch as a way to supplement visual cues for the visually impaired. Daniel Zuleta, a senior computer engineering major, is team leader. Professor of Computer Science Zhigang Zhu is team advisor.

Dashboard Donations. This team is working on a protocol and system for making it easier to give money to non-profits, e.g. micro donations. Elliot Schrock, a graduate math student, is team leader.

Mind's Eye: Enhanced Computer Control. This is a new take on “mind control” using waveforms from the brain that leverages advanced technology from Professor of Biomedical Engineering Lucas Parra's laboratory. Jaeseung Hahn, a senior biomedical engineering major, is team leader. Professor Parra is team mentor.

The Kaylie Prize for Entrepreneurship was established in 2010 through an endowment given to City College by alumnus Harvey Kaylie, ’60. Mr. Kaylie is president and founder of Mini-Circuits, a Brooklyn-based RF and microwave electronic components design, manufacture and distribution company. Established in 1969, the company has grown into a global leader in RF, IF and microwave components for commercial, industrial, space and military applications.

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Ellis Simon
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