Apr 15 2013
Old Westbury and Manhattan (April 15, 2013) ─ For the second consecutive year, New York Institute of Technology students have advanced to the final round of the New York State Business Plan competition.
Competing against MBA and Ph.D. students, sophomores Dhruv Patel and William Yu won first place at the regional competition in the “Energy/Sustainability” category, a designation that earned them a spot in the finals on April 26 at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University of Albany.
Patel and Yu will present Home20, a plan to create an aid package of water bottles and plastic pallets that can be used to construct roofs for emergency shelters in disaster-stricken areas.
“It took a lot of research and development on both the technology and business sides,” said Yu, an architecture major, describing the hours of meetings to prepare for the regional competition held earlier this month at NYIT Auditorium on Broadway
. “We had to put in the time and effort, and we knew our concept inside and out.”
Their plan incorporates a technology known as SodaBIB
or Soda Bottle Interface Bracket system, which allows cut or pressed water bottles to screw into plastic pallets that serve as roofing structures. NYIT holds a provisional patent on the SodaBIB technology.
Patel, who is studying business management, said the regionals were “fun, crazy, and sometimes out of hand, but overall it was a great experience.”
The idea, he added, is to gain exposure for the business, learn how to make it better, and gain experience "for the real world."
Judges grilled them on their concept, which would derive income from donations and from licensing the SodaBIB technology to pallet producers. The students say the aid package consisting of bottles and plastic pallets could be readily shipped to areas hit by natural disasters. Once the water is consumed, the pallets can be broken down and used for roofing, with the empty bottles serving as the roofing shingles. The entire product is an example of “upcycling,” or transforming garbage into a useful product.
Between now and the finals, Patel and Yu are honing their presentation with the help of faculty advisors. At the final competition, they will present their plan in 10 minutes and answer questions from a panel of judges acting as “angel investors” for the project.
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
Led by President Edward Guiliano
, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 92,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit nyit.edu