Regions Southwest Virginia

Italian team wins international business concept competition

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Professor Roberto Napoli of the University of Trento (left) stands with Team feelSpace members.

A four-member team from an Italian university took the top prize in an international business concept competition held this week in Blacksburg and Roanoke.

Student teams from 11  countries and the U.S. competed in the Global Student Business Concept Challenge for a $25,000 grand prize and the VT KnowledgeWorks Global Challenge Trophy. 

The competition was part of the Fifth Annual VT KnowledgeWorks Global Partnership Week in Blacksburg and Roanoke held on Aug. 17-23.

The event provides an opportunity for business students and faculty from around the world to learn and network. VT KnowledgeWorks is a business accelerator based at the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg.

The teams competing in the Global Student Business Concept Challenge represented schools in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, England, France, Italy, Mexico and the United States.

The grand prize went to Julia Wache, Galena Kostoska, Alberto Parrella, and Leonardo Stenico of Team feelSpace, representing the University of Trento, Italy.

Their concept provides a navigation device for blind people. The device is a belt that has vibrating units around the waist. It points to a selected goal — either a GPS (global positioning system)  coordinate or north — and vibrates to indicate the way.

During the rest of their visit to Virginia, members of the international teams toured the area and met with technology companies officials and Virginia Tech students. Team members stayed with local families during the event.

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