Nov 25, 2019 | Georgia Institute of Technology
By Jessica Barber
Last year team Nix gained much popularity at the 2019 InVenture Prize Finals. Their pitch and popularity ultimately earned them the People’s Choice Award of $5,000 and propelled them to participate in Create-X’s Startup Launch program. Team members Cory Stine, Robert Patterson, Thomas Olson, Mohammed Aamir, Dustin Sloan, Vishwa Shah, and Milan Smart attracted attention from those struggling to overcome their nicotine addictions providing them with additional motivation to get their product to market.
Since competing, team Nix has focused on the development of a fully functional prototype, which is an autonomous e-cigarette that automatically tapers users’ nicotine intake. By taking data on individual usage habits and personal needs, the e-cigarette can help users drop their addiction by slowly introducing less and less nicotine into the e-cigarette’s vapor stream.
“We have continued developing the device, and we are working on a final prototype using in-house production methods,” the team stated in regard to their recent endeavors.
Of the original seven team members, Stine, Olson, and Aamir remain working on the prototype. Nix now has a website in which users can opt to preorder the e-cigarette device, and the team is gathering groups of users to participate in an upcoming beta test.
With their website up and running, the team is reaching more and more people who are wishing to turn their lives around. As Nix continues expanding, the team hopes to implement some of their knowledge gained from participating in the InVenture Prize.
“The pitch practices for the InVenture Prize really helped us communicate concisely and effectively. We’ll be using these lessons everywhere — marketing campaigns, the website, and more,” the team reflected.
Currently, preorders made on the Nix website are set to be delivered before January of 2020. The team hopes to continue making strides towards helping individuals overcome their nicotine dependence and remove the stress and possible shame surrounding their addition.
Thoughts on the 2020 InVenture Prize
For any students wishing to get involved with this year’s competition, the team offered some valuable advice on getting started.
“Focus on finding a good problem to solve. Finding a problem that people care about is more important than the solution in the early stages,” Stine reflected.
When asked for the most valuable part of participating in the 2019 InVenture Prize, the team had four words: exposure, mentorship, and prize money. The exposure gained from the live final round and the resources provided by the competition organizing committee helped the team to continue developing their algorithm, app, and popular e-cigarette. After countless hours of planning, mentorship, and product development, the team is now ready to launch Nix as a fierce competitor in the rising business of nicotine replacement therapies.
Find out more about the 2020 InVenture Prize by clicking here. Registration closes on January 13.