Lab Alumna Wins Big Idea Competition

Student Veena Somareddy won the top $15k prize as well as the $2.5k Diversity and Inclusion Award with Neuro Rehab VR

ArtSciLab alumna and Arts and Technology PhD student Veena Somareddy is this year’s UTD Big Idea Competition winner. Veena is Neuro Rehab VR co-founder and software engineer at Fort Worth’s Neurological Recovery Center.

Neuro Rehab VR is a startup working to disrupt the field of physical therapy with virtual and augmented reality games leveraging the brain’s neuroplasticity.  Suffering a stroke or traumatic brain injury can leave a person with long term disabilities. Neuro Rehab VR has developed three games that focus on different areas of the body and brain. Patients at the Neurological Recovery Center have been using them, and there are plans to expand to five more clinics across the U.S. by the end of the year. Winning a $15,000 grand prize and a $2,500 Diversity and Inclusion Award, at the UTD Big Idea Competition, will help to hire more software developers.

The UTD Big Idea Competition put on by the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UT Dallas was held in the ATEC Lecture Hall on Thursday, November 16. With a prize pool of $80,000 categories for this year included diversity and inclusion as well as social impact.

The 2017 Big Idea judges included Julie Nickols, partner at Haynes and Boone, Courtney Caldwell, co-founder of ShearShare, Jeff Williams, partner at Interlock Partners, and Bob Metcalfe, co-founder of Ethernet and director of innovation at the University of Texas at Austin. Guy Kawasaki, a former Apple executive and current chief evangelist at Canva, also served on the judging panel and gave a keynote speech about the art of innovation.