GE|OMD Incubator Awards Top Prize To Start Up Founded By Afghan War Veterans
NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Following an intensive 10-week development program that was capped by a presentation last month to marketing executives and venture capital firms, the GE|OMD Incubator awarded the $10,000 top prize for its 2012 program to Zoetic. Founded by Afghanistan war veterans Joe Adelmann and Jim Jablonski, Zoetic solves practical problems with smart sensors. The company's first product, NOD, turns smartphones into an automotive safety device. Using the smartphone's accelerometer, gyroscope, GPS and video camera, NOD tracks key data points and alerts drivers of unsafe actions; it can even tell them if they are falling asleep at the wheel.
"While this technology is often built in to luxury cars, it has been out of reach for most drivers -- making NOD the safe driving tool for the 99%," says Zoetic co-founder and CEO Joe Adelmann. A former Air Force systems engineer who did a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Adelmann holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech, an MBA from UMASS Amherst, and is currently completing an MPA in International Development at Harvard.
"The vision for Zoetic is bigger than a single product – we see application for the technology across multiple consumer applications including mobile medical, 3D printing and imaging, and activity-specific fitness mapping to name just a few," says co-founder and CTO Jim Jablonski, who as an Army Captain, flew helicopters in Iraq and mentored the Afghan National Army. A graduate of West Point, Jablonski has a BS in Physics and is a first year candidate for an MS in Operations Research at the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Two other companies from the 2012 GE|OMD Incubator program earned honorable mention at this year's demo day event: PearUp, a platform for spontaneous sports which enables any user to book, pay, and play; and Piggyback, an app that helps you discover new songs, restaurants, and videos by following the activities of your trusted friends.
Launched in the summer of 2011, the GE|OMD Incubator is an intensive 10-week startup incubator, inviting 16 of the brightest young entrepreneurs from select universities to build innovative companies. The mission of the GE|OMD Incubator is to develop the next generation of digital talent, innovators, and entrepreneurs with a keen focus on people and helping them realize their ideas.
The 2012 GE|OMD Incubator class includes student entrepreneurs from Cornell, Harvard, MIT, NYU, Stanford, Trinity College Dublin, UCLA. In addition to the top companies who took the top three places in the competition, companies who participated in the 2012 program included: who are launching the following companies:
- BestFriendBox is a monthly subscription service that supplies animal owners with all natural treats and toys for their pets.
- HangTime eliminates all the trouble of getting together with your friends by telling you which ones are nearby and down to hang out. Spend time with your friends more easily, more often.
- The Active Generation (TAG) reinvents physical education by using technology to incentivize students to be active both in and out of the classroom.
- WeareverYouGo is a social platform to connect, share, and shop foreign fashion styles, making traveling in style effortless.
Designed to foster innovation and develop entrepreneurial talent through the resources of both GE and OMD as well as with select partnerships, the program provides participants with a stipend, work space in OMD's New York office, educational workshops at General Assembly, a speaker series that involves the brightest minds and most accomplished names in technology and outings to top research and development facilities. There is no equity exchange and the program serves as a vehicle for GE and OMD to participate in the essential space of innovation which is central to both companies.
Linda Boff, GE Global Executive Director, Digital, Advertising & Design, said, "As a company committed to innovation and technology, we are always looking for new and interesting platforms for the next generation of digital media solutions. We're proud to partner with OMD to help digital innovators and student entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life."
OMD US CEO Alan Cohen adds, "The GE|OMD Incubator exemplifies OMD's commitment to keeping our clients ahead of the innovation curve as technology continues to offer new, unexpected and exciting new opportunities for marketers to connect with consumers."
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com.
OMD Worldwide (www.omd.com) is a leading global media communications agency, with more than 8,000 employees across 100 countries serving the world's high-profile brands. OMD provides a range of services globally including communications strategy, media planning and buying, digital execution, content creation, entertainment marketing, sponsorship and brand analytics. OMD is recognized for its global footprint, strategic integration and creative innovation. It has been acknowledged as Most Creative Media Agency by The Gunn Report for an unprecedented six consecutive years, Adweek Global Media Agency of the Year for 2008, 2009 and 2011; and 2002, 2005, 2009 and 2011 Media Agency of the Year by Advertising Age. OMD Worldwide is a unit of Omnicom Media Group, the media services division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC).
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