IoT Innovation Olympiad Winners Showcase Talent, Creativity and Bright STEM Future

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Cleveland, OH, March 19, 2015—OneCommunity encourages everyone to “Dream Big”, and did they ever! The Internet of Things, the focus of the IoT Innovation Olympiad inspired think tank-type concepts at a shark tank-style competition enticing over 40 of Northeast Ohio’s best and brightest, STEM-enthusiastic young women ages 13-18 to vie for cash awards at Case Western Reserve University last weekend.

It was an ingenious grocery shopping application created by Sasha Desberg from Copley and Katie Arendt from Parma that took top spot. Their winning app, an inspirational retail-based application that promotes shopping smarter at grocery stores was designed to work from the user’s grocery list and preferences, assisting in finding items, tracking likes and utilizing electronic payments.

Other winners were equally inventive. Alyssa Spencer from Cleveland Heights, Eliana Good from Shaker Heights and Tarini Singh from Berea, for example, took second place with an app enabling communication through muscle movement of brain waves for those unable to speak.

“The thoughtfulness, ingenuity, creativity and inventiveness that these young women displayed is nothing short of inspirational,” says Lev Gonick, CEO of OneCommunity. “Parents and students alike encouraged us to continue to create STEM-specific programming. We definitely will make that happen.”

The IoT Innovation Olympiad winners received awards ranging from $1,000 for first place to $500 for second and $250 for third and fourth, respectively. The title sponsors for the event were OneCommunity, Case Western Reserve University and BlueBridge Networks. Additional sponsors were OEConnection (OEC) and CBC Magazine. The event featured prominent female speakers including: Kelly Zelesnik, Dean of Engineering Technologies, Lorain County Community College; Dr. Monique Wilson, Executive Director, Center for Information Technology Training, Corporate College, Cuyahoga Community College; Nichelle McCall, CEO, BoldGuidance; Stephanie Takai, CEO, Innovative Devices, Inc.; Rachel Wilkins Patel, Founder, HER Ideas in Motion; and Dr. Alexis Abramson, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Z. Meral Ozsoyoglu, Professor of Computing, both of Case Western Reserve University.

For additional information about the IoT Innovation Olympiad, please visit

About OneCommunity
OneCommunity is a nonprofit organization based in Cleveland that works to expand high-speed broadband access and adoption to strengthen Northeast Ohio. OneCommunity’s vision is that advanced digital capabilities and effective use of technology will help transform the region and establish it as a national hub for innovation and economic growth. For more information on OneCommunity, please visit


Contact:  Jane Passantino

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