Edible Optics and The Apollo Team win UofA’s first Startup Weekend
Student-led organization InnovateUA hosted the inaugural UofA Startup Weekend in Tucson, AZ this past weekend where faculty and students were treated to 54 hours full of networking, pitching and innovation. Individuals from across the campus came together to share ideas, form teams and build their startups.
Two winners were named in two separate categories: the “new idea” category and the “preexisting company” category.
Edible Optics took home the win and full admission to the InnovateUA accelerator; they aim to bring accurate, low-cost, hands-on engineering experiences to children. By combining self-contained science kits, simple explanations, and candy, Edible Optics will provide an attention-grabbing educational activity suitable even for families with no prior science background.
The “preexisting company” category winner went to The Apollo Team, an unmanned aerial systems company. Through their technology, Apollo envisions a future where unmanned systems are supporting security, search and rescue, agricultural monitoring, logistics, compliance testing and other unique industries that will be created by bringing unmanned aircraft to the market.
“To see all of the students grow throughout the weekend was beyond inspirational. It is amazing to pass the microphone off to a student with a mere concept on Friday night and see them present a full-fledged business concept by Sunday morning. This weekend was an incredible step forward for the growth of the Tucson community and the University of Arizona,” said Nick Morin, Director ofInnovateUA. Morin also expressed his gratitude for the support and guidance from UofA President Hart, Melissa Vito and Michelle Norin to hold such events for the community.
Influential individuals in the startup ecosystem spoke to the event-goers this past weekend including Chris Yeh from Wasabi Ventures and InnovateUA’s founder and now founder of startup NoteBowl Andrew Chaifetz.
Next up for InnovateUA is Hack Arizona. The event is to be held from March 6-8 on the University of Arizona campus.
This article has been edited from its original.