Knowde-sponsored Deja Vu Robotics team advances to regional finals

Knowde sponsors Deja Vu Robotics team at FIRST® Tech Challenge

SAN JOSE, CA – March 2, 2023 – For the second consecutive year, Knowde, the digital marketing and sales platform for ingredients, polymers, and chemicals, has helped sponsor a team in the “FIRST® Tech Challenge.” And for the second consecutive year, that team – Deja Vu Robotics – has advanced to the regional competition, which will take place March 4-5 at Kathleen MacDonald High School in San Jose, CA.

The FIRST® Tech Challenge is a competition that promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. Students in grades 7-12 compete in an alliance format against other teams using a variety of levels of Java-based programming to design, build, and program robots and power them using android technology. 

“Knowde understands the value of STEM-oriented programs that are helping to develop the next generation of engineers. We support competitions such as FIRST® Tech Challenge that teach these students to think like engineers and collaborate in a team environment,” said Wojciech Krupa, Chief Technical Officer of Knowde. 

Teams are judged on robot design, team dynamics, and community outreach. Each team is interviewed by the tournament judges and required to make a team presentation. Participating students are eligible to apply for college scholarships offered by FIRST®.

“This year’s challenge is using the robot to place cones at different pole levels. We built a slide mechanism with an arm that goes into the cone with the help of an aligner, and a tab that extends so the cone stays on the arm. The slide extends to three different levels, so we have the capability to score the most points,” said Martyna Sobczyk, a member of Deja Vu Robotics. 

She added, “Our team advanced in the first qualifier by winning the ‘Inspire’ award, plus we received both the ‘Think’ award for our engineering portfolio, and the ‘Innovate’ award for our arm mechanism.  We also advanced to the semi-finals in the robot game.” Deja Vu Robotics is an 11-member team with three main subteam leads. The team members are Preesha Vaswani, Satveka Salgaocar, Daniel Ticau, Connor Houle, Paige Houle, Martyna Sobczyk, Saamya Yadav, Ananth Kini, Ruchi Alavilli, Micah Keegan, and Zuri Spencer. Connor Houle is the Mechanical Lead, Ruchi Alavilli is the Software Lead, and Martyna Sobczyk is the Outreach Lead. More information about the Deja Vu Robotics team members and their roles can be found at

Note: A jpg file of the Deja Vu Robotics team is available upon request. Suggested caption:

Members of the Deja Vu Robotics team, sponsored by Knowde, that competed in the 2023 FIRST® Tech Challenge. Front row, from left to right, are Micah Keegan, Paige Houle, Preesha Vaswani, and Daniel Ticau. Back row, from left to right, are Ananth Kini, Connor Houle, Zuri Spencer, Martyna Sobczyk, Satveka Salgaocar, Ruchi Alavilli, and Saamya Yadav.

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About FIRST®

FIRST® is the world’s leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education. FIRST® inspires young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.

About Knowde

Knowde is the leading digital sales and marketing platform for ingredients, polymers, and chemistry. The marketplace allows buyers to search, compare, sample, quote, and purchase products from every producer on earth, all in one place. With more than 180,000 products and 8,000 supplier storefronts — more than any distributor, marketplace, or middleman organization in the history of the industry — Knowde is the largest platform of its kind. Knowde is backed by top-tier investors, including Coatue, Sequoia Capital, Refactor Capital, Bee Partners, Cantos Ventures, Sound Ventures, TQ Ventures, K5 Global, Mantis VC, Knollwood, 8VC, and FJ Labs. For more information, visit

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