In 2017, a group of doctoral students from Wayne State University’s College of Engineering came together to create a nanosensor designed to detect contaminants in water. The company, Micro Buoy, was born during Erie Hack — a tech-driven international water innovation competition and accelerator program created by the Cleveland Water Alliance, in conjunction with numerous partners, including TechTown Detroit.
After winning the $50,000 first place prize at the Erie Hack finals, the Micro Buoy team continued their entrepreneurial journey and placed first in the Internet of H2O competition, where they won a $15,000 cash prize toward their company.
Video Credit: Tech Time with Andrew Humphrey WDIV Local 4 Detroit
“Erie Hack was a huge stepping stone toward our success. Before Erie Hack, we knew about the problems in Lake Erie. Erie Hack provided us with a platform to develop a solution,” said Micro Buoy co-founder Sundeep Varma Gottumukkala.
In 2019, the Micro Buoy team is continuing to work diligently to improve their sensor and expand their business, while balancing being full-time students.
While Erie Hack is extremely competitive and intense, the Micro Buoy team feels with the right skill set and preparation, new teams can excel.
“Advice for those considering competing in the Erie Hack Competition this year, work on your presentation skills — presentation is everything. Also, be sure to focus on one technology and one key element. It’s easy to get distracted and focus on too many things.”
Erie Hack 2019 is now underway. To preview the latest ideas in innovation for Lake Erie, attend the Erie Hack 2.0 Detroit Quarterfinals on Saturday, April 13 at the Wayne State Industry Innovation Center.
If you have a team and are interested in participating in Erie Hack, please contact Paul Riser, firstname.lastname@example.org.