Carnegie Mellon University
January 16, 2013

Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Electrical and Computer Engineering Students Host Fourth Annual Festival Showcasing Creative Project Prototypes

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /
Event: Imagine being your own boss. With the success of new technology, Carnegie Mellon University student entrepreneurs see 2013 as the “golden age” of startups.
More than 140 Carnegie Mellon engineering students are tapping into their entrepreneurial DNA with a festival, dubbed “Build18,” to display a cache of tech savvy prototype products — from a robotic first-aid kit to a bicycle sporting an automatic transmission.

“Build18 is a great opportunity to complement our studies with the application of real-world engineering skills. We use what we have learned in electrical and computer engineering to create a cool product in a very short period of time,” said Build 18 leader Collin Buchan, a senior electrical and computer engineering (ECE) major from Austin, Texas.

Some of the projects being showcased include a robotic Halloween candy dispenser, a programmable T-shirt embedded with LEDs to allow the user to change the graphic design on the fly and a Lego-inspired tool to teach digital logic to high school students.

The festival (also known as “hackathon”) evolved out of ECE students’ desire to designate time during the semester to work on their own creative technical ideas and to realize out-of-the-box solutions to real-world problems. “We operate under strict deadlines and limited funding as is the case for most entrepreneurial startups,” Buchan said. 

According to the Global Entrepreneur Monitor, there was a 60 percent increase in the creation of startups from 2010 to 2011.

When: 2 - 5 p.m., Friday, Jan. 18.

Where: Singleton Room, Roberts Engineering Hall, off Frew Street and Schenley Park, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15213.