This year, the funding structure of the program was changed in order to involve more students and increase collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas.
Instead of awarding three grants of $10,000 to three student proposals, the funding was allocated across an entire class of learners. Team leads were able to recruit students to work in small groups, encouraging students to think bigger and teams to work smarter. This shift moves the structure of the program from competitive to cooperative, and has already proven to spur more innovation and produce more ideas with a greater degree of diversity.
There's still time left in the 2018-2019 school year for these bustling innovators, and if MirmanX legacy teaches us anything, it's that they will likely continue to work on their passion projects long after the school year ends — indeed, in some cases, after they leave Mirman. Here's a peek into what our entrepreneurs have been up to so far during Year Four.
Evan F. (US3) is developing prototypes for renewable and sustainable energy sources. Associate cohort members are Russell F. and Aidan D. (US3).
Brandon L. and Connor Y. (US2) are using coding languages React and Firebase to begin the development of their health and wellness app BetterDay. They recruited associate cohort member London M. (US2) to help develop a business and marketing plan.
Eric Y. (US4) has started prototyping in the gaming and coding engine Unity to create his coding-instruction app for elementary schoolers, ANTS.
Katherine S. and Isabel W. (US2) are working on their business plan for WAFE (an eco-friendly water filtration unit) to get an accurate handle of profit and costs. Robotics Coach Amanda Sullivan is working closely with the girls to develop their business plan before they get to their minimum viable product. Katherine and Isabel have procured several materials to develop a few filtration prototypes.
Rishi G. (US2) has been very dedicated to completing his minimum viable product, which is centered on creating a non-profit organization. His business, called Feastible, connects restaurants with local communities who suffer from food insecurity.
Dashiell Filus '11-'18, a member of the Year Three cohort, and now an alumnus of Mirman, spent additional months back on campus finishing his minimum viable product: a smart mechanical arm called Grasp to aid those with accessibility challenges. He completed his work at Mirman in February, and is now receiving support from the Makerspace Director at Oakwood, his new school. Despite his funding cycle coming to a close in December of 2018, Dashiel’s ambitious project continues and is testament to the spirit of our program.