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ASU student-led business wins $100K at Innovation Open

(ASU Photo)

PHOENIX — An Arizona State University team, comprised of three students, won the ASU Innovation Open awarding them $100,000 to help fund their project.

Hoolest Performance Technologies, led by Nicholas Hool, won the grand prize at the 2018 ASU Innovation Open after it created an earbud device that helps relieve performance anxiety. The device works by blocking stress and stimulating the vagus nerve to activate a relaxation response in the body.

Hool, a biomedical engineering graduate student, is a former nationally competitive golfer that suffered from performance anxiety.

“Everyone is familiar with being nervous, whether it’s playing golf against Tiger Woods or giving a public presentation,” Hool told the judges. “Uncontrolled nerves can significantly inhibit your performance.”

The company has signed up some professional golfers to test the product before it is released to elite athletes and, eventually, the general public.

Hool said the prize money will help create 300 more devices, which are in clinical trial at the moment.

Sami Mian, a computer engineering graduate student, and John Patterson, an undergraduate in electrical engineering are the other members of Hoolest Performance Technologies.

Hoolest Performance Technologies beat out four other startups to win the grand prize.

This was the second ASU Innovation Open since they began accepting applications last year. The contest is sponsored by Avnet, which donates the $100,000 prize, and the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU.

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