Winter Spotlight

Last Tuesday, over three hundred people gathered in Hearst Memorial Mining Building to celebrate the end of the semester and student achievements at the Fung Institute’s Winter Spotlight. The Fung Fellows found themselves standing at tables alongside Masters of Engineering students as they presented their Health and Wellness Venture Lab projects and shared their ideas. The students set up tall showcases, some draping over the railing from the floor above. Others built small towers with cut outs so passersby could see the world through VR goggles.

A chain with blocks on it. Some might call it a blockchain. This innovative display was created by Soteria Health to demonstrate how blockchain works.

Half-way through the Fellowship’s year-long Venture Lab, the students spent the past months doing customer research and ideation. At the event, they shared what they have learned from their customers and why their projects are important for the future of health. Peerlocity, for example, had a video showcasing data they gathered from city dwellers in the Bay Area who were looking for bike-sharing opportunities. Baloo had a short game where visitors could try to answer questions about childhood cancer and treatment with the goal of educating the public. Winners could claim a small stuffed dog reminiscent of the one in their game. Cuddle Cub had a version of Family Feud, while Re-Root Wellness showed off their take on the Game of Life. Each group brought a unique spin to their presentation.

At the end of the night, judges from Kaiser Permanente, UC Berkeley and the Federal Reserve Bank of SF, announced that Cuddle Cub was the winner of this year’s Most Innovative Exposition award. After a night of good food, interesting technology, and sparkling conversations, the Fellows packed up their displays and started untangling their blockchain from the railing. Excited for winter break, they shuffled out into the cold winter air.