UC Irvine’s ANTrepreneur Center Announces Winners of AI Innovation Challenge

Competition honors solutions in health, entertainment and student experiences 

ANTrepreneur Center director Ryan Foland takes a selfie with participants in the AI Innovation Challenge. Angie Delfin / ANTrepreneur Center

Feb. 5, 2024 - Weaving human ingenuity with artificial intelligence, nine student teams at the University of California, Irvine claimed the top prizes in the ANTrepreneur Center’s AI Innovation Challenge, devising AI-based solutions in the categories of health impact, storytelling and entertainment, and student experiences. The winners were announced at the competition’s grand finale last month.

“The AI Innovation Challenge is designed to be a call for students to build teams and start something. The finals are a fun part of the process as teams advance based on judged rounds,” said Ryan Foland, director of the ANTrepreneur Center. “But the real magic happens for all the teams that keep moving their ideas forward, regardless of whether they made the finals.”

Below are the top three winners in each track.

Health impact: MoveAI, KidoCare and A-Eye Scan 

In first place, MoveAI – pitched by third-year biomedical engineering graduate student Sina Javadzadeh No, third-year electrical engineering graduate student Rahil Soroushmojdehi, electrical engineering postdoc scholar S. Alireza Seyyed Mousavi, third-year biomedical engineering major Milan Bijoy Das and second-year biomedical engineering major Jamie E. Salazar – is a movement evaluation platform that combines cameras, electromyography and AI to provide rapid and objective analysis, the ultimate goal being to transform how movement disorders are diagnosed and treated.

“Winning the AI Innovation Challenge was a pivotal moment for us. It reaffirmed that our innovative approach to movement evaluation holds significant promise from a business perspective and is well received by experts in the field,” the group said in a statement. “This achievement has invigorated our team, and we are even more determined to advance our solution, deliver it to healthcare professionals and create a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals with movement disorders.”

In second place, KidoCare – pitched by third-year data science major Ghadah Ibn Jurais, third-year nursing science graduate student Mahkameh Rasouli, second-year informatics graduate student Maryam Hassani, second-year computer science and engineering major Sophia Shaw, neurology postdoc scholar Pooyan Mobtahej and second-year business administration major Jaahnavi Bansal – is an AI-driven platform that improves the experience of hospitalized children, using large language models technology to engage in meaningful conversation with them and provide personalized entertainment.

The AI Innovation Challenge “not only provided a valuable opportunity for our innovative ideas to be acknowledged but also equipped us with essential resources and connections. The enjoyable and collaborative experience allowed us to hone our strengths [and] rigorously test our product. With the support gained, we are enthusiastic about launching our solution to make a meaningful difference in the near future,” the group said.

In third place, A-Eye Scan – pitched by fourth-year biomedical engineering major Alla Mariam Samardak, fourth-year biomedical engineering major Rojin Farzanfard, third-year computer science major Martin Bobarshad, third-year biomedical engineering major Tair Kuzhekov and business administration graduate student Sarah Yu – is a device paired with a mobile phone and AI technology that assists healthcare providers with early and accurate disease identification to reduce patient misdiagnosis.

“The AI Challenge enabled us to collaborate with incredible individuals, turning ideas into reality. Now we’re focused on refining the device and AI program for upcoming testing in 2024,” the group said.

Storytelling and entertainment: Vision Board, Vango.AI and Overshoot 

In first place, Vision Board – pitched by third-year computer science major Derek Yazan, third-year computer science major Jadon Ark and third-year computer science major Souzen Khan – endeavors to merge the physical world of board games and the digital world of video games, using an AI computer vision-equipped camera to track pieces on a board and display the corresponding video and audio on a computer.

“The AI Innovation Challenge gave our team the opportunity to think creatively about storytelling within the field of computer science and artificial intelligence. Participating in this competition gave our team the courage and confidence to believe in our ideas and actually turn them into a reality,” the group said. “As of right now, our team is working on perfecting our technology and possibly turning this into a real product.”

In second place, Vango.AI – pitched by fourth-year business economics major Jai Hathiramani, second-year business economics major Shreya Mawandia, third-year business economics major Clare Wu and fourth-year software engineering major Daniel Yi ­– aims to transform digital marketing for small businesses by generating editable content for them.

“The AI Innovation Challenge was an incredible experience pushing us to consider AI in the realms of storytelling. In the future, we plan to start beta testing with local businesses in Orange County,” the group said.

In third place, Overshoot – pitched by second-year computer science major Joshua Choi, second-year computer science major Nathan Choi and second-year computer science major Paul Wong – is an AI camera assistant that seeks to capture and enhance daily memories with effortless precision.

“The UCI AI Innovation Challenge is a great opportunity to practice giving a pitch in front of judges and an audience. For our team, we found the experience enriching as we developed a [minimum viable product], gave a pitch and even launched our app on TestFlight, aiming to bring Overshoot into the market in a few months,” the group said.

Student experiences: Notive, Coursanity and WellnessU 

In first place, Notive – pitched by first-year computer science and engineering major Steven Cao, first-year software engineering major Spike O’Carroll, first-year business information management major Sahas Kasuganti and first-year computer science major Kevin Wu – is an AI-powered note-taking tool that uses key point recognition and active learning techniques to help students retain information.

“The AI Innovation Challenge is a powerful demonstration of how important and vibrant student entrepreneurship can be. We’re so proud to have been a part of it, and we’re very much grateful to the ANTrepreneur Center for creating this opportunity,” the group said. “Looking forward, our team will continue innovating through tech entrepreneurship, as well as aiming to get Notive in the hands of student users.”

In second place, Coursanity – pitched by second-year quantitative economics major Tina Roshannia, second-year computer science major Ayush Mishra and second-year computer science major Neema Jafari – uses AI to aid students in finding career paths, courses, clubs and internships tailored to their academic background and personal preferences. It also builds a professional portfolio meant to connect job seekers with recruiters.

“Coursanity started with our frustration with how we plan for and enroll in classes as students. We decided we wanted to try and create something that could help students like ourselves,” the group said. “Our team plans to continue working on making Coursanity into a fully functional product, and we hope to see it being used by students sometime soon.”

In third place, WellnessU – pitched by first-year engineering graduate student Avantika Singh, first-year computer science graduate student Neil Havanur and first-year mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate student Jaideep Alladi – seeks to improve university wellness culture by using data analytics and predictive analytics to bolster campus resource centers, in addition to creating a generative AI-curated support group for students.

“On a personal front, it was an amazing journey that had a colossal learning curve in terms of a problem-solving mindset, tenacity, team dynamics and talking to potential stakeholders,” the group said. “We have already started working on solidifying the product vision and taking it to other potential funding opportunities. We deeply resonate with the problem we are addressing, so a part of our soul is with WellnessU.”

AI Innovation Challenge sponsors 

The track sponsors were the UCI Office of Data and Information Technology, the UCI Office of Information Technology, UCI Beall Applied Innovation, UCI Health, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, UCI Student Affairs, UCI Student Life & Leadership, Associated Students of UCI, Blackstone LaunchPad, the UCI Division of Undergraduate Education, the UCI Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, and the UCI Graduate Division.

The technology sponsors were Salesforce, ServiceNow, Siemens, Soul Machines, Syntropy, Alltius, Soul Machines, Amazon Web Services, zigzag and Cake Equity.

The community sponsors were Tech Coast Angels, the OC Startup Council and the Tech Coast Venture Network.

In each track, the first-place winner received $10,000, the second-place winner received $5,000, and the third-place winner received $2,000. UCI’s ANTrepreneur Center intends to host more innovation challenges – with new focuses – in the future. 

– Tom Vasich