The preliminary round of the 2018 Virginia Tech Global Entrepreneur Challenge has been won by Team ­­­­­­­FeetBack, from Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.

As part of its prize, the team will receive up to $5,000 in travel expenses to Washington, D.C., and Blacksburg, Virginia, to participate in the Global Entrepreneur Challenge on Aug. 16-25.

During the challenge, student teams present their business concepts for a chance to win the $30,000 grand prize and other awards.

Team FeetBack won the preliminary for its training device for Parkinson's patients. The device uses a sensor-based shoe insole in combination with a smartphone application to help patients reintegrate correct walking patterns into their everyday life and receive customized training suggestions.

In Washington, D.C., the team will enjoy sightseeing trips to museums and monuments, networking opportunities, and private tours with industry partners. In Blacksburg, the team will compete against 12 other finalist teams.

The other teams are from Adolfo Ibáñez University, Chile; Ghent University, Belgium; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Chile; Stellenbosch University International, South Africa; Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico; University of British Columbia, Canada; University of Kent, United Kingdom; University of Technology, Australia; University of Trento, Italy; Vienna University of Technology, Austria; Virginia Tech, United States; and ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland.

The preliminary, a virtual round, “encourages students to test and develop their business concepts and innovation, and to broaden their understanding of successful business venture requirements," said Lindsey Eversole, global program manager of the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs.

“The teams tested their entrepreneurial ideas by confirming that their solution meets a customer need, occupies a differentiated place in the market and offers value, and has a sustainable business model,” she said.

Admission to the challenge finals on Aug. 23 is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please register here.

Learn more about becoming a host family for a visiting international student during the challenge, now in its ninth year.

For more details, visit the Virginia Tech Global Entrepreneur Challenge, or contact Lindsey Eversole via email at

The challenge is made possible by Accenture and Apex Center sponsors, including Outreach and International Affairs of Virginia TechThe Branch Group Inc.VPT Inc.Brown EdwardsCarilion ClinicCity of RoanokeG.J. Hopkins Inc.Montgomery County Department of Economic DevelopmentPlastics OneRackspaceShentelSMBWSunTrust Banks Inc.Third Security LLC, Town of BlacksburgUnion Bank & TrustVirginia Tech Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation, and Wordsprint Marketing Services.


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