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ASU team excels at international entrepreneurship competition

June 13, 2012

A team of ASU engineering students have emerged as award winners in the finals of the international Dell Social Innovation Challenge for student entrepreneurs.

Team 33 Buckets is developing a project designed to provide clean water in communities in rural Bangladesh, where contaminated water is a leading cause of disease and other health problems.

33 Buckets was one of only five teams that made it to the Dell Challenge world finals from among some 1,700 teams that initially entered the competition.

For its performance in the finals, team members will get mentoring from professionals over the next year to advance their project and some Dell computer hardware.

The team members are mechanical engineering senior Paul Strong and four biomedical engineering students — senior Pankti Shah, senior Varendra Silva, senior Mark Huerta and junior Connor Wiegand.

Team leader Huerta won a scholarship to attend the Dell Challenge Summer Innovation Lab. Only 20 students from throughout the world are invited to participate in the lab, and only several receive a full scholarship.

The team’s project evolved from the Engineering Project in Community Service (EPICS) program in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Eight EPICS teams were among the 200 teams chosen in the spring as semifinalists for the Dell Social Innovation Challenge.

Read more about award winners in the 2012 Dell Social Innovation Challenge.