Fishery monitoring software wins $25K at Univ. of Washington student startup competition

OnDeck Fisheries AI with the grand prize. (University of Washington Photo)

A student team from Simon Fraser University developing a way to use artificial intelligence to monitor fishing activity took home the $25,000 top prize at the 2022 Dempsey Startup Competition hosted by the University of Washington’s Foster School Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship.

The competition, now in its 25th year, featured 36 teams made up of undergraduate and graduate students residing in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and British Columbia. The UW awarded $90,000 in total prize money.

OnDeck Fisheries AI aims to address the problem of declining global fish stocks by helping commercial fisheries automatically analyze what they catch at sea, with the help of machine learning and computer vision. The team won the $25,000 Herbert B. Jones Foundation Grand Prize. It also won the $5,000 Glympse Internet of Things Prize. 

Here were the other top winning teams:

  • CathConnect, a team that developed a tube that disconnects from urinary catheters to improve safety, won the $15,000 BECU Second Place Prize. It also won the $2,500 Voyager Capital Best Business to Business Idea Prize. 
  • OneCourt, a team creating a real-time software solution that makes sports entertainment more accessible to people with visual impairments, won the $10,000 WRF Capital Third Place Prize.
  • inSTENT Connection, a team developing a naturally absorbing stent for patients undergoing gastrointestinal tract surgery, won the $7,500 Friends of the Dempsey Startup Fourth Place Prize. It also won the $2,500 Perkins Cole Best Innovation/Technology Prize.

Last year’s winner was AfterLife Listings, which aimed to simplify the funeral planning process.

The Dempsey Startup Competition also announced a new $1 million endowment from the Washington Research Foundation the Buerk Center to establish the WRF Student Innovation Fund.

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It also announced its first alumni entrepreneur of the year award that went to Amber Ratcliffe, who co-founded Nanostring Technologies. Ratcliff now is the chief executive officer of Arbor Health, another biotech company she founded.

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