Wilcox Chargers Take First Place in FlexFactor Competition
On December 11, 2019, Wilcox's Team Blind Spot, made up of students Ishu Agrawal, Amanuddin Syed, Rahul Ganesh, and Allen Loomis, won 1st place in the fall semester FlexFactor competition for their division. They accomplished this with a near-perfect score of 49.6 out of a possible 50.
The month-long competition at Evergreen Valley College is hosted by NextFlex, a consortium of companies and academic institutions that all have the goal of advancing U.S. manufacturing of flexible hybrid electronics (FHE). After an introductory classroom visit from NextFlex, students took a field trip to the Dupont Silicon Valley Innovation Center where they were able to see products using FHEs at work.
In order to compete, the students formed teams to brainstorm a problem they wanted to solve using a product that features FHE technology. From there, NextFlex sent engineers out to meet with the teams to offer their expert advice on how the students might make their product work.
The students created a slideshow presentation that not only included the technology side of their product but also a business plan. Finally, they pitched their ideas to judges who were acting as venture capitalists and deciding which company to invest in. Each participating school had its own competition and the top two teams from each school advanced to the FlexFactor competition finals.
Team Blind Spot pitched the idea of designing a pair of glasses that took signals that would normally be processed by specific parts of the eye and transmit them directly to the optic nerve. The premise behind the design was to help visually impaired people to see better or in some cases to be able to see at all.
Wilcox also had another team in the finals, team KALM, made up of Kavya Sriram, Yan Tarpe, Sanjana Solanki, Sumay Thakurdesai, and Matthew Delurio. The team worked hard and they did a great job scoring 38.3 — impressive considering the fact that this was the first competition for 4 of the 5 students.
Congratulations, Chargers! Keep up the great work.