AloeAid, Diamond Challenge 2019 Top 20 Team
Burns are a common injury that can be quite painful, as well as expensive to treat. High-schooler Akshaj Jois saw firsthand the difficulties of burn medication when he visited a local hospital with his self-founded club SLHS Hospital Missions that volunteers at old-age retirement homes, rehabilitation centers, and local hospitals: “We had the chance to see a young boy who had suffered various burn wounds on his tender skin and the bandages the hospital used had strong adhesives that would cause pain during removal since it needed to be peeled off many times and be changed.” He, along with his co-founder, Siddhant Bhat, immediately saw the need for a product that proved economically accessible while also serving as medical treatment. After combining their skills and inspirations, the idea for AloeAid was born. “The AloeAid is a novel bandage for burn victims composed of Aloe Vera and antimicrobial biomolecules. We saw that current bandages either have too many adhesives which can tear tissue, hair, or skin or are too expensive. So we came up with a plant based solution which is self adhesive meaning that it wraps around the wound and sticks on to itself rather than the injury while providing a cooling effect using Aloe Vera properties” they explained. They ended up finishing in the top 20 teams at the Diamond Challenge 2019 Summit.
The process to develop a viable idea for AloeAid was one that required a lot of hard work and determination. Akshaj explained: “The process of developing the idea into a tangible product took almost a year since I had to research at the University of Houston every other Friday to conduct experiments in the lab under the guidance of a PhD professor, create a protocol/ procedure for the innovation, and finally make a pitch deck to present this idea at Diamond Challenge.” However, even after the idea creation came to fruition, the Diamond Challenge Summit competition also provided many more opportunities to learn new skills: “Diamond Challenge truly offered us the experience of a lifetime for pitching our ideas and building up confidence in our beliefs. The program taught us to be open, network with others, and spread the message of entrepreneurship.”
This entire competition provided both Akshaj and Siddhant with valuable experience for the future, advice they were both more than happy to share with future potential participants. “Follow your passion and convince yourself that your idea can change the world so that you can convince others,” Akshaj commented, “We loved the Diamond Challenge experience as it exposed us to different ideas and showed us individuals with similar passion to ours from around the world.” He encourages anyone with an idea and a genuine passion for that idea to pursue it at Diamond Challenge: “I truly enjoyed the Diamond Challenge experience and would recommend it to anyone who is willing to take on the challenge.”
As for future plans, both team members of AloeAid are looking to get ready for college and future entrepreneurial ventures. They will continue to work on AloeAid and are hoping to release a finalized product in the market soon. Diamond Challenge provided the stepping stone for Akshaj and Siddhant to realize their passion for entrepreneurship and hone the necessary skills to pursue their idea. We are so excited to see what the future has in store for the two of them and can’t wait for the amazing things they will accomplish!
No matter where our Diamond Challenge alumni go, we are constantly amazed by how they continue to make an impact on the world for the better.
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Horn Entrepreneurship serves as the University of Delaware’s creative engine for entrepreneurship education and advancement. Built and actively supported by successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders, Horn Entrepreneurship empowers aspiring innovators and entrepreneurs as they pursue new ideas for a better world.