Startup idea propels Purdue Northwest marketing students to final 32 in national competition

February 26, 2019

Imagine if a car could alert you of a nearby motorcycle by detecting its engine. That is the ingenious idea conceived by Purdue University Northwest’s (PNW) marketing students Kristin Augustyne and Rada Tanasijevic.

The two College of Business students are representing Purdue Northwest in the highly competitive National Student Startup Madness Competition—a nationwide tournament-style competition for college student digital media startups.

Augustyne and Tanasijevic’s startup project, called “Sound Cycle,” recently advanced to a final round of 32. They are now competing against teams representing 27 college and universities across the country.

“As soon as I heard their idea for Sound Cycle, I knew they had a winner,” said Matt Hanson, clinical assistant professor of Marketing in PNW’s College of Business and the team’s faculty advisor. “Both students have a personal connection to motorcycle safety, and the technology they proposed was a simple solution that could save potentially thousands of lives.”

Sound Cycle uses sonar sensing technology in vehicles to detect the distinct sound wave of a running motorcycle engine, then alerts the driver of a nearby motorcycle.

Hanson said national competitions like this allow PNW business students the unique opportunity to identify a need in the marketplace, form a viable solution, and translate it into a viable startup business with real-world, positive impact.

Augustyne and Tanasijevic are competing against teams from institutions like the University of Illinois, Notre Dame, Cornell, Syracuse, Tufts, University of Chicago and Michigan’s two flagship state institutions, among others.

If they advance to the “Entrepreneurial Eight” national finals at the South By Southwest Interactive in March, Augustyne and Tanasijevic will have the chance to pitch Sound Cycle to renowned business and investment leaders who can help them on the road to innovative success.

For more information, visit the Student Startup Madness website.