Innovate 2022 Provides Friendly Competition to Solve Real-world Problems

Kevin Faigle

Thursday, April 21st, 2022

The annual Innovate student pitch competition awarded top prizes March 31st at the Georgia Cyber Center as competitors presented ideas to solve a problem in the community.

This year’s competition included 320 students as part of 34 groups from across Augusta University. After an earlier round of presentations, the top 10 teams advanced to the finals. Those teams were allotted five-minute presentations to a panel of judges before winners were selected.

Team Fearless Inc. consisting of Alexis Lanier from the College of Science and Mathematics, Kristen Reid from the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences and DeAndre Cochrane from Hull College of Business were named winners of this year’s event. The faculty mentor was Roger Duke, lecturer in the Hull College of Business. The team received $5,000 and Duke received $1,000.

“I am honored that we won the competition. We’ve worked diligently for months and it’s an amazing feeling to see our hard work pay off and that others are just excited about our mission with the KanDo board as we are,” said Lanier, a psychology major.

The team’s innovative pitch was the KanDo board, an expanded version of the Kanban board, a tool for workflow visualization designed to enhance efficiency. The board is already in use to help improve productivity in small groups, but Team Fearless took it a step further to accommodate more people while applying productivity tools and psychology to help motivate elementary students.

“One of the biggest reasons this community needs a product like this is due to how many elementary schools we have in our large community. With over 32,000 elementary students within our community, the product could make a huge impact in Augusta first, then the rest of the world,” said Reid, a cybersecurity major.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, many people have acknowledged the problems that children were facing, but very few were providing true, direct solutions to help these young children,” added Lanier.

At some point, the team would like to see this KanDo board become a product that’s used in schools to help students. They are working to apply for a patent and secure the licensing, as well as searching for companies to bring the product to life.

“The most innovative part of our solution is that it adds up both logically and practically. Think back to when you were younger, what was one of the best ways that motivated you to participate in activities? Competition, competing in games with your friends and family. We took the influence of competition and collaboration and laced fun, interactive appeal and the joy of reward into our product,” added Reid.