3 UCI Undergrads Receive Creativity & Innovation Scholarship

Making Waves
June 25, 2020 By Grace Wood

UCI Beall Applied Innovation has awarded three UC Irvine students with a Creativity & Innovation Scholarship for their original solutions to specific campus and/or community needs.

Developed through a new collaboration with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarship, a scholarship committee selected the winners based on their academic performance, extracurricular activities, their project’s demonstrated need and intended purpose, startup status and involvement in UCI entrepreneurship programs.

Open to any UCI student, including out-of-state and international students, the scholarship offers $3,000 to recipients to turn their ideas into feasible companies. The scholarship allows students to pursuit their entrepreneurial dream without the initial financial stress.

Ruben Shakya, UCI undergrad, Henry Samueli School of Engineering, received the scholarship for his startup forMed. He is designing a platform that produces low-cost, portable medical devices that optimize convenience in multiple healthcare fields. Currently, the team is developing a handheld device that examines eye health in older adults. The scholarship funding will go toward the development of a cost-effective and portable prototype device.

“forMed was formed with the mission to advance healthcare technologies and improve accessibility to healthcare services, especially for underserved communities,” said Shakya. “We are eager to make larger strides toward our goals and appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with UCI Beall Applied Innovation.”

David Sanusi, UCI undergrad, School of Social Sciences, received the scholarship for his phone application idea SwipeMe, where students can easily share meal points, made available through university meal plans, from university cafeterias. With the funding, Sanusi will begin app development. He hopes to test his business at UCI student eateries and expand his business beyond the campus.

“I envision SwipeMe to be a platform known for its user-friendly interface and versatile functionality,” said Sanusi. “My plans for SwipeMe are to make dining for all students at UC Irvine both convenient and affordable.”

Joseph Hariz, UCI undergraduate, Henry Samueli School of Engineering, will utilize his scholarship for his startup OralFresh, which is developing a handheld device that targets bacteria in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth for fresher breath. With the scholarship funds, Hariz’s team will manufacture enough prototypes for a clinical study to finalize the production model.

“Being able to walk out of the house with a truly clean and long-lasting fresh breath for any occasion is important to us and our customers,” said Hariz. “This Creativity & Innovation Scholarship will provide significant contributions to collecting customer feedback and preliminary data for our proposed product.”

As part of the scholarship, students will also interact with the ANTrepreneur Center, UCI’s on-campus innovation center that houses resources and programs geared toward entrepreneurship for students. The students will work closely with Jaune Odombrown, ANTrepreneur Center manager, who will help with the recipients in business competitions and programs required by the scholarship.

In May 2021, scholarship recipients will participate in the Creativity & Innovation Showcase to highlight their milestones and achievements.

Learn more about other student scholarship opportunities.

*Main Graphic: Kate Wokowsky, UCI Beall Applied Innovation

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