Education Initiatives/Spirit of Innovation

Spirit of Innovation Overview

The USICOC Foundation’s annual Spirit of Innovation Technology Competition and Business Plan Presentation is a program designed for current undergraduate and graduate students in North Texas to support technology innovation and entrepreneurship among our local students. The Competition encourages participation from students who can create solutions to real-life problems. The solution is expected to be technology-based and designed to solve a current problem or make an existing product better.

List of Cases for 2022-2023 competition

  • Smart City/IoT: What green solutions can you develop that would allow for better management of waste and/or natural resources in an urban environment?
  • AI/ML + IoT: Where can modern gaming, game and player data, and game analytics be applied to medical care to improve outcomes or get better diagnostics?
  • IoT: Retail shop owners and product suppliers want to track presence of products at the selves to ensure that the products are always available for customers and to automate product delivery to the shop. Create an inexpensive IoT solution that would allow tracking of products on shelves.
  • Augmented Reality/Computer Vision: How can augmented reality and computer vision be used to enhance Do It Yourself repairs?


The only female to compete in 2014, Shanti Thiyagaraja, took first place at the US India Chamber of Commerce Foundation Spirit of Innovation Competition and was featured in the Dallas Morning News for her success.
– Click here to see article:

Participating students will receive a case packet and can choose one case from the options for which to develop a solution. Students will receive mentoring in both the refinement of their technological innovations from a technical perspective, as well as in the development of their business plans to be able to take their ideas to the next level. Students will compete in both a technology round and a business plan round of competition.

Past participants in the USICOC Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation competition reported that they benefited greatly from the experience. Not only did they garner resources and valuable insight to move their ideas forward, but they also gained presentation experience, as well as press coverage for their work.


The second place winner from 2014 was BioLum, comprised of a group of SMU BBA students who invented an asthma diagnostic device. They now report that their experience in the competition, along with the prize money, helped propel their product and business concept to where they are now ready to start clinical trials of their product.