Winner of HTM Contest at Yale
This past month, Numenta sponsored a contest at Yale University, in collaboration with the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, for a prize to create an application using our HTM technology. We offered the winning team a $10,000 cash prize, along with a license structure that would enable them to create a company to commercialize the application. The contest was open to all Yale students, faculty and alumni. Why did we hold this contest at Yale? We wanted to test out the idea of an “entrepreneur contest” like this, and since I am on the board of trustees at Yale and am familiar with the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, we decided this was a low friction way of conducting this experiment. And we feel the experiment was a success!
We received multiple submissions for the prize with problems in such domains as managing hospital data, understanding patents and fixing inefficient event pricing.
The winning venture is called Good Day Bad Day (GDBD). GDBD’s proposal was created by Dr. Michael Choma, of the Yale Medical School, and Zhilong Cong, MS, a graduate student at Yale in biomedical engineering. Choma and Cong propose to take streaming data from wearable devices, such as the Apple Watch, and use it to improve management of chronic respiratory disease.
We selected GDBD for several reasons. First, the data meets fundamental streaming requirements; there is a clear streaming data source — a wearable sensor — and the data stream has sufficient velocity. Second, it seems highly likely that there will be temporal patterns that can be found by the HTM algorithms. Finally, Choma and Cong as a team have both the medical knowledge as well as computer science skills to be able to create an application that meets the needs of patients and physicians.
We congratulate GDBD on their win, and look forward to seeing how their application evolves. Read the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute press release.
We will consider sponsoring similar contests at other universities or incubators. We have no doubt that HTM can be applied to a huge range of problems, so we find ourselves excited at the prospect of working with multiple teams who have the expertise and the excitement to build HTM applications. We are very open to working with early stage start-ups, and have a start-up friendly licensing structure. If you would like to connect with us to run a contest or to talk about a start-up idea, please email us at