Meet your semi-finalists

More than 100 entrepreneurial-minded student ventures pitched their ideas for the 2020 ASU Innovation Open. The top ventures were selected to participate in the January event as semifinalists.

The event winners were awarded a total of $300,000. The top two ventures received grand prizes of $100,000 each.

year-2020: Acoustic Wells
Acoustic Wells

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Acoustic Wells is developing a novel IoT solution to reduce the impact of oil wells by 250 million tons of CO2 annually while saving the industry $25 billion per year.

Winner: $100,000


year-2020: Aerate

University of Pennsylvania

Aerate is developing the future of cooling. Their novel air conditioner is five times more efficient than current systems and poised to meet the skyrocketing demand for cooling.

year-2020: AlgenAir

University of Maryland

AlgenAir created the first consumer natural air purifier that uses algae to reduce carbon dioxide and increase oxygen as effectively as 25 houseplants in the home and office space.

year-2020: Alto Power Company
Alto Power Company

Stanford University

The electrification of transportation systems is inevitable and Africa's one billion people are being left behind. Alto Power Company is building a suite of products to enable electric mobility in Africa's fastest growing markets.

year-2020: Closed Composites
Closed Composites

University of Southern California

Closed Composites uses chemistry to recycle carbon fiber composites that otherwise would get shredded and pyrolyzed in ovens.

Winner: $100,000

Breakthrough Energy Ventures Climate Change Prize

year-2020: Contraire

Oklahoma State University

Contraire deploys a retrofittable sensor control system that optimizes the aeration process within municipal wastewater treatment plants, generating electrical savings on average of $250,000 annually.

year-2020: Drivemate by I-ADAS Technologies Inc.

Drivemate makes driving safer by relieving the driver from the stress, fatigue and boredom, while freeing the driver's hands to attend to other needs as desired under suitable driving conditions.

year-2020: Edgehog Technologies
Edgehog Technologies

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Edgehog solar panels produce up to 30% more energy simply by eliminating significant light reflection from the cover glass at low angles and keeping the surface clean via a superhydrophobic effect

year-2020: Educational Vision Technologies
Educational Vision Technologies

University of California, San Diego

Educational Vision Technologies uses AI to enable students to excel academically.

year-2020: Feros Freight
Feros Freight

University of Michigan

Feros seamlessly integrates electric vehicle technology into heavy-duty trucking through our development of a power-assist freight trailer.

year-2020: Frost Control Systems, Inc
Frost Control Systems, Inc

University of Notre Dame

Frost Control Systems is in the business of making roads safer and easier to maintain by bringing municipalities and counties up to the same sophistication and standards seen on our nation’s highways and runways.

year-2020: Halen LLC
Halen LLC

Arizona State University

GateSense is a smart, electronic gate latch that makes any existing gate smart and mobile device controlled.

year-2020: Haystack Ag
Haystack Ag

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Haystack Ag empowers farmers to grow their crops more profitably by using portable spectrometers to collect high-quality biometric data on crop quality, soil nutrients and soil carbon.

year-2020: Insanirator

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Insanirator is the future of decentralized sanitation using robots at the community scale.

year-2020: Kiri

Brigham Young University

Kiri is the screenless smart toy that has the benefits of technology without the drawbacks of screens.

Winner: $25,000

On Semiconductor Sensor Prize

year-2020: KnoNap

Georgetown University

KnoNap, the napkin that knows, is a cocktail napkin that detects specific date rape drug presence upon saturation.

Winner: $25,000

Zero Mass Water Technology for Social Equity Prize

year-2020: Nanodropper

Mayo Clinic – University of Washington

The Nanodropper is a universal eyedropper adaptor that decreases the volume of oversized eyedrops to reduce cost, waste and side effects – increasing access to expensive vision-saving medications.

year-2020: NeXST Rehab
NeXST Rehab

Arizona State University

NeXST Rehab's device is a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator paired with a motion sensor that tracks a stroke patient's movement to facilitate neuroplasticity and help regain motor function.

year-2020: Ocular Technologies
Ocular Technologies

Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ocular Techologies improves access to eye care by developing innovative diagnostic solutions.

year-2020: Odin Technologies
Odin Technologies

Northwestern University

Odin Tech is developing a non-invasive wearable device for the monitoring and diagnosis of patients who are at risk of developing vascular injuries, specifically acute compartment syndrome.

year-2020: PreOv

University of Utah

PreOv simplifies fertility monitoring with an intravaginal ring and mobile app system that automatically identifies the entire fertile window.

Winner: $25,000

eSeed Challenge Hardware Engineering Prize

year-2020: Sensagrate

Arizona State University

Sensagrate is developing SensaVision, a smart city and smart infrastructure computer vision platform to help save lives through safer transportation and mobility applications.

year-2020: Showcase

University of Pennsylvania

Showcase is a data-focused vending machine network that serves as a platform for brands to exchange products for insight.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology is building state-of-the-art chip scale sensors that enable autonomous machines to navigate and perceive the world around them.

Winner: $25,000

State Farm Autonomous Vehicle Prize

year-2020: SmartRest

Cornell University

SmartRest is a bed overlay device that provides smart technology to assist nurses and caregivers so that they can help their patients and loved ones with pressure ulcer prevention and healing.

year-2020: Visos

Syracuse University

Visos is building the the world's most advanced VR headset designed for enterprise use.

year-2020: Zilper Trenchless
Zilper Trenchless

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Zilper Trenchless is significantly reducing the cost and disruption of underground piping projects.

year-2020: Omniply

Carleton University

Omniply has a manufacturing process for making flexible electronics, displays, IoT sensors, sticker sensors and wearables for health care and wellness.

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