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GIS System to Assist in Emergencies Wins Holloway Business Plan Competition

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
May 18, 2011

Response Platform won first place in the 2011 Holloway Competition. Pictured, left to right: President Mark W. Huddleston, Professor Michael Merenda, student Jessica Streitmater of Londonderry, Paul Holloway, student Scott Olsen of Marlborough, student Tim Harmon of Barrington, and Whittemore School Dean Daniel Innis. UNH Photographic Services- Photographer: Perry A. Smith

A team of UNH students who proposed developing a web-based geographic information system (GIS) tool to assist emergency responders and campus managers during emergency incidents recently won the Whittemore School of Business and Economics Paul J. Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market competition -- the oldest business plan competition in the state and one of the first in the nation.

The first-place project, Dynamic Response Platform (DRP), assists emergency responders and campus managers in addressing incidents that may adversely impact the community. DRP integrates real-time and static datasets into a single interactive map that provides fast visualization of a given situation, and improves communication and coordination among responders. It allows responders to view floor plans of any campus building along with databases of information that are linked to it; including but not limited to chemicals in each room, extinguisher locations, class/event schedules, underground utilities, and weather conditions.

The winning team is comprised of engineering student Timothy Harmon of Barrington; engineering student Scott Olsen of Marlborough; and business student Jessica Streitmater of Londonderry. The faculty advisor was Nancy Kinner, professor of civil and environmental engineering. Additional students on the development team include engineering students Katherine Gray, Nicholas Tamblyn, and Richele Reynolds.

“The product is currently a semi-operational prototype on the UNH campus. Several buildings have been linked to DRP along with many data sets that apply to them. With the success in the competition, I estimate that there will be a push to get more data into DRP as soon as possible, and making it fully operational,” Olsen said.

“The Holloway Competition was an amazing experience because it really helped us envision how this product would fit in the real world. Most importantly though, it provided an opportunity for students of different disciplines to come together and use our different skills together. I don’t believe DRP would have been nearly as successful if it were represented by only engineering students or only business students,” he said.

Now in its 23rd year, the competition is designed to stimulate entrepreneurship throughout the campus. Open to all university system graduate and undergraduate students who have a proposal for bringing an innovative product or service to market, the competition helps students gain first-hand experience in commercializing new products and services, and provides access to faculty advisors and industry experts.

Holloway contestants competed for more than $100,000 in prize money and consulting services provided by PixelMEDIA, the New Hampshire Innovation Commercialization Center, and Pierce Atwood law firm. In addition, Paul Holloway and Bud Albin, ’55, contributed prize money and support funds. 

Second place went to Regaalo, Inc., a service to college students and their families that makes gift-giving easy. Family members can send gifts from the Regaalo website directly to their students’ phone or email. The family members will have the ability to select offers from local businesses and also will have access to student recommendations for, and ratings of, these businesses.

The team consisted of business students Nick Blanchette of Goffstown; Megan Callaghan of Bedford; and Gretchen Eastman of Suffield, Conn.; and engineering graduate student Matthew Robinson of Barrington. The faculty advisors were Whittemore School lecturer Peter Masucci and Radim Bartos, associate professor of computer science.

Third place went to RoTa-Tip 360, a patent-pending commercial/recreational fishing roller tip that swivels 360 degrees. The business plan also won the award for best showcase. Regardless of where the pole is pointing, the 360-degree motion of RoTa-Tip 360 prevents lines from jumping off the roller and rubbing against the side housing, eliminating lines tangles and breaks.

The device was created by business student Daniel Bottomley of Chesterfield. The faculty advisor was Anthony Pescosolido, associate professor of management.

Established in 1988 by Holloway's family, the business plan competition honors the business leader's entrepreneurial spirit by stimulating and recognizing outstanding proposals for innovative businesses. Holloway began his career in the automotive industry and, starting in 1967, shaped a multi-franchise dealership emphasizing customer service and satisfaction. Holloway then extended his business skills to the development and management of eldercare facilities. For more information, visit: http://www.wsbe.unh.edu/holloway.


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