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Team Retriever wins Grand Prize at Cornell Animal Health Hackathon

Monday, February 20, 2017

Engineering Management student Ezgi Demirayak (M.Eng.’17) was part of the Grand Prize winning team at Cornell’s 1st Animal Health Hackathon, a weekend-long event held at eHub Collegetown, a flexible co-working space for emerging entrepreneurs located just off of the Ithaca, New York campus. Demirayak is a graduate student in the M.Eng. in Engineering Management Program, and has a background in Computer Science.

Co-hosted by the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine and Entrepreneurship at Cornell, the conference partnered 130 Cornell students from across degrees, majors, and colleges with professional mentors to generate ideas for promoting the health of animals.

Out of more than 25 groups, 12 were selected to give four-minute presentations as part of a “project showcase,” before an audience of peers, industry reps, and participants. The four judges then named winners in three “vertical” categories: Service Award, Software Award, and Hardware Award, as well as a grand prize winner, granting $5,000 in prizes.

Team Retriever, a group comprised of 3 veterinary students, 2 info-sci students, and Demirayak, the only Engineering Management student, won both the Grand Prize and the Hardware Award. For the competition, the team proposed a wearable device for pets that harnesses multiple low-power wireless technologies and a passive NFC failsafe to maximize the chances that a lost pet is returned. A free companion app enables the community to help search and connect lost pets with their owners. Demirayak is now considering the possibility of creating a startup for the product. She and her teammates from the competition are talking with venture capitals and professors to see how they might make their pet-tracking device a commercial product.

More information on the Animal Hackathon can be found here:

Read more about Ezgi and her work here:


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