The Idea Center at Miami Dade College (MDC) has announced the winners of the $50,000 Innovation Prize from the Veronica and Gaston Taratuta Foundation, an exciting entrepreneurship competition awarded to MDC students and recent alumni, who are entrepreneurs and innovators with fresh ideas to solve critical problems affecting lives in the community.
The first-place prize of $25,000 was awarded to ValueDOC, an online healthcare marketplace that connects cash or self-pay patients with local, credentialed doctors and dentists offering affordable healthcare at an affordable price.
The runner-up $15,000 prize winner was VOYZ.ES, an agile and collaborative transcription platform for students and teachers. It transcribes audio content fast, with high accuracy, using machine learning. It also provides annotation tools to find, simultaneously collaborate, and store audio in a secure system.
Two startups each received $5,000 prizes. Baby Still on Board is a startup company that helps to prevent car deaths worldwide with the creation of a car alarm that will sound when a baby is left in the car.
The second startup is Aimful Books, a publisher of premium coloring books featuring meticulously curating artwork by established street artists from around the world and with a social mission. Every book sold is matched with a free educational textbook given to children and schools around the world. The books are made from premium wood-free paper.
The winners also have the potential for up to $250,000 in follow-on investment. In addition to the funds, the Idea Center will support the entrepreneurs to develop their ideas through educational workshops and mentorship.
Winners will receive a complimentary branding strategy session with an industry expert, a featured page on The Idea Center website to profile the problems they are tackling and their proposed solution and enrollment at no cost into any Idea Center workshops and program for 2018. Winners will also be featured in The Idea Center newsletter and the Refresh Miami blog.
The Idea Center at MDC is the college’s hub of innovation, the place where students from all disciplines can gather, collaborate and take advantage of resources and training to develop their entrepreneurial ideas. Through cutting-edge entrepreneurship education, professional development and experiential learning, students and community members can acquire the tools needed to identify challenges and develop solutions.
The Idea Center has several components including MarketHack, CREATE accelerator, CodePro, The Startup Challenge, and the Innovation Lab, to name a few. It is made possible through the support of Knight Foundation. For more information, visit www.theideacenter.co.