TSU students promote innovative cell phone chip, win international competition

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TSU students create a business plan to sell unique phone chip.

A chance encounter during his internship with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee started Anthony Collier on an unlikely journey.

"I met a guy from India and he said 'I have this huge breakthrough I'm about to have...this business idea. And I want you to be a part of it,'" Collier recalled.

The TSU junior political science and history major formed a team of four other students. The group calls itself DATA: Digital Arts and Technical Advancement. The group is the business brains behind what they tell us is a new technology in a chip made out of 24 karat gold, copper and aluminum called RadBlok.

"There are products that only block radiation. There are products that only boost phone reception. And there are products that only conserve battery life. But this is the only product that does all three," Collier said.

Collier and senior Dave Funchess took their business plan for the chip to the International Competition for Entrepreneurs in Jamaica.

They won.

"TSU was the first HBCU to ever make it past the application stage," said Collier. "And we ended up winning the whole thing."

"A lot of people have stopped me and congratulated me," joked Dave Funchess. "I can tell they actually read the article because our face wasn't on it. So they had to read to figure out I was there."

Senior accounting major Ashtyn Duncan says the developer is making sure they get something out of the deal.

"It'll take a good three to five years for us to break even. By year six, we should be making a profit," she said. "He's letting us sell it under our own brand because we are white labeling it."

That means he'll produce the chip in India. But they'll package and sell it here. They say winning the competition in Jamaica has already opened doors they hope will translate well for life after TSU.

The group has already landed several local clients asking for business plans and they say there's more in the pipeline.
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