GI members Emily Shiu, Karthik Prasad, and team “Pragmatica” participate in the Velocity’s Concept Funding Grant Finals

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

The Velocity Concept Funding Grant Finals took place on July 14th, both virtually and in person at the Student Life Center. Out of 49 total applicants, 9 teams of students compete for four $5,000 funding awards for their innovative projects. While the competition finals are normally eight teams, this year the judges decided nine was necessary due to the high quality of the competitors.

The team “Pragmatica” is made up of PhD student Emily Shiu (Psychology, GI Member), and undergraduate students Karthik Prasad (Management Sciences, GI Member), Thomas Mastantuono (Management Sciences), and Jing Hao Yao (Software Engineering), under the supervision of Dr. Oliver Schneider (Associate Professor, GI Member). These four students are in the process of developing a VR speech therapy kit to “provide an accessible option for people who cannot afford or allot time for dedicated speech therapy.”

Pragmatica’s pitch was given by Karthik, who walked the judges through their design process and their work so far, including their funding from the Games Institute Seed Grant! Pragmatica is well on their way to building an exciting product, and the team has worked with speech therapists who are excited to use this technology with their patients in the near future.

When asked by a judge what Pragmatica’s biggest challenge was, Karthik explained that “the biggest challenge is to actually help these children instead of just saying [that the product will work].” He continued explaining that “every child has their own needs,” and therefore, Pragmatica is focusing on ensuring the therapy exercises given by their device can be customized to meet every child’s needs.

Congratulations to the Pragmatica team for reaching the finals with their pitch for their VR speech therapy kit!

You can watch all the pitches, including Pragmatica’s, on the Concept Velocity Youtube channel. You can also vote for Pragmatica for the $500 people’s choice award until July 21st by watching and liking their presentation on YouTube!