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Student-Invented Mobile App Could Replace Security Access Badges

A team of student entrepreneurs from the University of Utah has developed a virtual alternative to the electronic ID badge used for security access. The team, EMRID Technologies, took first place with its mobile device invention at the university's annual business plan competition.

"Employees constantly use personal mobile devices for professional activities, yet sensitive information must continue to be protected by company and governmental standards," said Austin Aerts, an accounting student at the David Eccles School of Business. "EMRID offers a simple--yet elegant--solution to this by turning mobile devices into virtual ID badges. In doing so, they don't need to enter a password that can be hacked, and the device can facilitate professional use of personal devices while working within the constraints of current IT and security systems."

EMRID's business plan beat 23 other student entries in the institution's annual "Opportunity Quest" competition to win the $5,000 top prize. Now it will advance to the university's "Utah Entrepreneur Challenge" for a chance to win $40,000. That competition has 31 finalists from multiple Utah-based schools.

University of Utah Opportunity Quest winners EMRID Technologies pose with their prize check. The team is (from left to right) David Kent, Austin Aerts, and Emily Theisen.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Technology Venture Development

University students who participated in the quest were provided with access to mentors in the business community who could help them refine their ideas and give them advice on how to apply their ideas in the real world. Judging of the entries was done by a panel of investment and business leaders.

Opportunity Quest is part of the institution's Lassonde Entrepreneur Center, which provides programs for undergraduates and graduates. The Lassonde Center is jointly managed by the School of Business and the Technology Venture Development office.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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