On April 23, two students from Mercyhurst, Matt Vendeville and Rebecca Cratty, took a step towards making the world a better place by presenting their ideas at the Erie Collegiate Innovation Showcase.
It was the first annual competition where two team finalists from Penn State Behrend, Gannon, Edinboro and Mercyhurst come together with their ideas for future innovations.
Vendeville, a junior Public Health and Intelligence Studies major, came up with an idea called Drop-let.
It is a filtration system that can filter large quantities of water for impoverished areas.
“We had been learning about the difficulties of water filtration [in class] and I was just thinking of ways to fix that,” Vendeville said.
Cratty, a senior Interior Design major, presented Octa Connect, a product used to create low-cost apartment style building communities at colleges that are designed specifically for the needs of incoming students.
“Octa Connect is unique because it is a system which can be custom ordered by the university, prefabricated, built with green technology, easily transported, leased by the unit, modified into multiple interior layouts, arranged into multiple footprints, and adapted for various sites,” Cratty said.
The Octa Connect project will be on display at Mercyhurst.
“The Interior Design Senior Thesis Exhibition will be hung in the Cummings Art Gallery until May 18th where anyone could stop during gallery hours to see the Octa Connect design on display as well as three other senior projects,” Cratty said.
Both Cratty and Vendeville won access to seminars to learn how to patent their ideas and also an hour with a IP lawyer which can help patent ideas. Both students hope to proceed further with their products.
While Vendeville and Cratty did not win, they both feel the experience was very positive. “I learned a lot from the experience as far as presentation skills and how to think of an idea and bring it to a group of people. Also having to listen to them telling you what’s wrong with it was kind of hard,” Vendeville said.
There is a similar competition happening July called the InnovationErie which still showcases ideas, but on a wider scope. It is available to everyone in Erie, not specifically college students.