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Learn more about the Open Minds E-Teams and vote for your favorite!
February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011 – The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance's (NCIIA) annual showcase of student innovation, Open Minds (formerly March Madness for the Mind) is still a few weeks away, but the NCIIA has partnered with Inventors Digest to host a video competition highlighting 15 student teams (known as E-Teams) presenting at this year's showcase. Public voting will run through March 14, with the winners being announced at Open Minds on March 26.

Watch the videos and vote for your favorite E-Team here:

About the Open Minds showcase

The NCIIA works with many of the nation’s leading universities and colleges to help student teams successfully grow their innovative technologies, from concept to commercialization. Student prototypes — solutions for energy, medical, mobile and transportation industries — that will be on display at this year’s public event include:

  • An antenatal screening kit designed to lower maternal mortality worldwide, make health care available to expectant mothers and bring business to communities in rural areas (Johns Hopkins University).
  • Twig Light, a combustion-based generator that uses household waste to generate electricity (Arizona State University).
  • Ducha Halo, an affordable, pressurized shower system designed for Chile’s poorest areas that has quickly spread beyond its intended market, reducing the spread of disease in developing regions that employ the system (Art Center College of Design).
  • WishVAST, a mobile-based social network intended to link people and businesses in off-the-grid areas and being piloted this spring in South Africa (Pennsylvania State University).
  • Rickshaw Bank’s improved and affordable cycle rickshaw carts that are not only better than the traditional models used in India, but also can eventually be bought by their operators rather than rented (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Open Minds will be held in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The public event, held on the first floor of the museum in partnership with The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

About the NCIIA

The NCIIA achieves positive and sustainable social and environmental impact through technological innovation by providing end-to-end service grants, mentoring and other experiential resources to higher education institutions. With support from The Lemelson Foundation, the National Science Foundation and a membership of nearly 200 colleges and universities from all over the United States, the NCIIA engages more than 5,000 student entrepreneurs each year, leveraging their respective campuses as working laboratories and incubators for businesses and ultimately helping them to bring their concepts to commercialization. For more information, please visit