Academic Programs

IBM Competition Stokes March Madness for ACC Innovation Teams

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When you think “ACC” (Atlantic Coast Conference), you might think “basketball”, as the ACC is home to some of the nation’s finest. But the ACC is also about academic excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship. That’s why IBM is excited for all the teams headed to the second annual ACC InVenture Prize innovation competition – a “Shark Tank”-style contest among ACC students.

While we wish all the ACC teams our best, we’ll be rooting for the Medtraq team from North Carolina State University during the competition on March 30th and 31st. We’ve been following Medtraq since they won IBM’s Built-on-Cloud award during the NC State “Minute to Pitch It” Competition last fall. During a visit to the IBM Collaboration Center Open House after their win, the Medtraq team spent some time learning more about IBM Cloud, and how they could collaborate with us on their innovation, which has the potential to reduce the rate of healthcare-associated infections. On any given day, about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-associated infection, which translates to an estimated $9.8 billion in additional medical costs. Comprised of low-beacon IOT sensors at hand-washing stations throughout hospitals, the Medtraq solution is directly aimed at curbing these preventable infections.

Since that time, Medtraq team members have interned with IBM, developed additional winning ideas for their Makeathon project, leveraged the IBM Watson Visual Recognition API to encourage recycling on campus, and walked away with the Spring 2017 IBM Built-on-Cloud development prize. After the InVenture competition, Medtraq will compete as one of seven finalist teams in the Built-on-Cloud prize category in the NC State 2017 LuLu eGames startup competition!

The NC State Medtraq team

The NC State Medtraq team

At IBM, we’re excited to make our Cloud services available to students from middle school through post-graduate study via our catalog. These opportunities support young innovators such as Medtraq in their exploration of IBM Watson Healthcare and other cognitive and cloud-based technologies, and help pack the innovation pipeline with future talent.

Young innovators can visit the catalog to get a promotional code for six months’ free access to runtimes, APIs and services on IBM Bluemix. And teachers and faculty can get 12 months’ no-charge access to enable new experiential learning opportunities for their students.

Janine Gerber is Cloud Academic Program Manager for the IBM Watson and Cloud platforms in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

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