Enterprising students from the University of Utah have developed a mobile application that has the potential to replace identification badges in security establishments.
The team, called EMRID Technologies, swept away the competition to steal first place with its mobile device invention at the university's annual business plan competition, called 'Opportunity Quest'.
Those who entered were supplied with mentors who have experience in business, and who were able to assist the students in refining their ideas to be compatible within today's markets. The entries were judged by a panel of investment and business leaders. Overall, more than 200 people participated within the competition -- including students, tutors and judges. Business plan submissions ranged from medical, technological, athletic, social, security and educational fields.
"Employees constantly use personal mobile devices for professional activities, yet sensitive information must continue to be protected by company and governmental standards," said Austin Aerts, who is studying accounting at the David Eccles School of Business. Aerts continued:
"EMRID offers a simple --yet elegant-- solution to this by turning mobile devices into virtual ID badges. In doing so, they don't need to enter a password that can be hacked, and the device can facilitate professional use of personal devices while working within the constraints of current IT and security systems."
The second place winners, who earned themselves $3,000, designed a plan based on a medical device that assists with ligament and tendon repairs. In third place, $2,000, the theme was also health-based, as their product concerned sports medicine.
EMRID's business plan managed to top another 24 student teams including entrants at undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. level, and by doing so, secured the top prize of $5000. The next stage of the competition is the university's 'Utah Entrepreneur Challenge' -- where the winning entrepreneurs can collect $40,000 -- certainly enough to help lift a startup off the ground.