Nation & World

The next big things

2 min read

Other bright ideas to come out of this year’s Business Plan Contest:

BOSS Medical
Working with Johns Hopkins researchers and physicians, M.B.A. students Romish Badani and Derek Poppinga have developed a minimally invasive device to extract bone grafts. If approved by the FDA, their product could transform spinal fusion procedures by reducing pain, cost, and medical error.

Malaysian taxis, or “teksis,” are a traveler’s nightmare: wait times are long, customer service is poor, and passengers are frequently mugged or even killed. Harvard Business School (HBS) students Anthony Tan, Hooi Ling Tan, and Adeline Chan want to bring mobile technology to the growing industry that would match drivers and riders, enable mobile tracking, and allow customers to rate their service.

Ubiquitous Energy
Imagine if energy were as ubiquitous as paper. HBS’s Bart Howe, Harvard Graduate School of Design student Jutta Friedrichs, and researchers and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created SolSheets, disposable solar panels made of paper. The company hopes to transform energy markets in off-the-grid countries, and is in talks with Nokia to pilot its technology in Kenya.

Sana Care
Much of the developing world now has access to mobile phones, but not to high-cost medical technology that could save lives. M.B.A. student Sidhant Jena and MIT researchers have developed low-cost wireless sensors and software that transform a smartphone into a portable electrocardiograph machine, a cheap diagnostic tool to catch cardiovascular disease.

Inspired by their experiences working in schools and education nonprofits, HBS and Harvard Kennedy School students Miki Litmanovitz, David Baron, David Shepard, and Andrew Offit (along with Harvard undergraduate Daniel Choi) developed a web-based platform to pair low-income high school seniors with college-student mentors, who will guide them through the college application and financial aid process.