The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance’s (NCIIA) Open Minds student competition winners for best cutting edge innovation are RIT’s team of Justin Hillery and Sean Petterson. This is the first time in the 16 year history of the conference that RIT has had a team selected to compete. They beat PHD students from MIT, Cornell, Berkeley, and Stanford.

Justin and Sean won both the Best Video Presentation for their “Strong Arm” innovative product and the Peoples’ Choice for Best Innovation.

In sixteen months they have come from walking into the Center for Student Innovation saying “Hey we invented something, what do we do now?” to limited production and beta testing of their lifting safety/assist vest. They have also been invited to participate on scholarship in additional entrepreneurial development training at the NCIIA Venture Lab. Sean is an Industrial Design major and Justin is a Multidisciplinary major, both are 4th year students.

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