Thanks to recent Harbert College of Business MBA graduate Haitham Eletrabi, it may soon to be possible for tennis players to add extra oomph to their serves or iron out the kinks in their backhand by using their smartphones.
Eletabri, who earned his MBA last fall and is completing a Ph.D. in civil engineering in the Ginn College of Engineering, designed an application for smart phones that uses sensors to monitor athletes’ performances.
“My business plan was about a digital personal tennis coach that will help the tennis players improve their game,” Eletrabi said. “The device uses an innovative combination of sensors to capture the player’s movement.”
His innovation earned first place honors in the annual Business Plan Contest for Engineering Inventions, sponsored in March by the Thomas Walter Center.
In addition to earning a $6,000 prize used toward the development of his product, Eletrabi became eligible for a one year free membership in the Auburn Business Virtual Incubator at the Auburn Research Park.
Paul Swamidass, Professor of Operations Management and Director of the Thomas Walter Center for Technology Management, told Eletrabi, “The results of your customer survey and input from numerous tennis professionals indicates a strong market potential for your product.”
“The goal of this contest was to find successful future entrepreneurs among our students who can follow the footsteps of other young founders in their twenties, who created lasting, massively successful companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Earthlink, to mention a few,” Swamidass added. “The presentations and prototypes were impressive.”
Matthew Phillips, a senior in Aerospace Engineering, took second place with a plan to retrofit hydrogen fuel systems on to automobiles.
To qualify, teams were expected to have an idea or invention with a significant engineering emphasis and must have a business model to go along with the invention. The contest was announced in October 2013.