InvenTeam members further entrepreneurship, present invention, progress at Lemelson-MIT mid-grant review


Photo credit: Belén Haro

Administrative Leader of InvenTeam Karen Garcia (’23) presents their team, invention and progress at the mid-grant review. InvenTeam members went to Singleton Classics in Costa Mesa Saturday, Feb. 25, for their presentation and received live feedback on their ideas.

By Audrey Chang, Editor-in-Chief

As part of the Lemelson-MIT program, Archer’s InvenTeam presents their invention — Hydra, a rooftop sprinkler system that targets and extinguishes embers — twice per year. During these presentations, teams present on their progress and how they have used their grant money from the program so far.

The InvenTeam was unable to present in person for their mid-grant review during the 2019-2020 school year due to COVID-19, so they were invited to present Saturday, Feb. 25, at Singleton Classics in Costa Mesa for a technical review.

Three other teams presented alongside Archer: two in person and one over Zoom. Archer InvenTeam members presented to people involved in the Lemelson-MIT program, MIT alumni, parents, people from other teams and other community members. Senior Karen Garcia is the administrative leader of InvenTeam and has been involved since her sophomore year in a range of roles and committees within the larger team, including budgeting, engineering and CAD design.

“We were able to receive their real-time feedback as to what they wanted what they want in our invention,” Garcia said. “One thing that I really loved about presenting at the event was that I was able to hear advice from some parents who are firefighters. I could hear some advice from MIT alums, so they’re always a great resource to look out for because they will help us with our potential next steps.”

Junior Alejandra Cortes joined InvenTeam her freshman year, and this is her second year as the leader of the programming and motion team. During the presentation, members shared their potential business plan in partnership with Slyngshot, a platform that generates business plans based on more general ideas and helps cultivate entrepreneurship.

“My favorite part was meeting new people and networking because there are so many fantastic people there at the event. For example, we met the co-founders of Slyngshot, and they were very open to helping us expand our product and making it into an actual business, so it was really great meeting with them,” Cortes said. “It went really well. I think that people were very impressed with where we are in our project, and we got a lot of great suggestions from the audience.” 

Junior Chloe Hayden is also a part of the programming and motion team. She said one of InvenTeam’s goals is to continue working on finalizing their prototype and possibly have a demonstration for the school where they show and explain its functionality and purpose.

“I liked being able to meet a lot of the other teams, [and] we got to see all of their inventions, which is really nice,” Hayden said. “We also got to meet a lot of people within the STEM world and the tech world — a lot of MIT alums, and just a lot of people who have some pull in the business who were really interested in Hydra and gave us really helpful tips and advice on how to make our device function better and some things to keep in mind for the future development.” 

Garcia said InvenTeam members are hoping to eventually patent their product and are currently working on seeking intellectual property of their idea to expand their invention to have a greater impact and scale.

“We’re really thinking about the future of InvenTeam such as if it would be a company [or] if it would be an organization or a community of people who are involved with this invention,” Garcia said. “We know that this is a really cool idea, and it has a lot of tools, and it has a lot of capabilities to help people in the future and save their homes. So we want to use hopefully Slyngshot or some other future plan to really make this conception bigger than it currently is.”