l-r, Gluconfidence, the Louisville Water Company filter, EV Charg-Guard

The Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business has wrapped up its Fall LaunchIt class with three standout products, according to the students who voted at the end of the 10-week class. The three ventures received mock funding and include: 

  • First place went to the team that is working on Gluconfidence, a concentrated, convenient source of glucose for Type I diabetics.
  • A Louisville Water Company team took second place with its product, a drinking fountain spout with a build-in filter to eliminate lead contamination from old or damaged pipes.
  • Third place went to WMK Safety Solutions, which is developing an electric vehicle charging station safety device called EV Charg-Guard that disconnects power to a charging station if it is damaged.

The LaunchIt program, newly housed in the Forcht Center, trains entrepreneurs to evaluate the viability of their business opportunity and helps them validate key aspects of their business model.

“The Fall 2018 cohort comprised 26 business opportunities, including UofL researchers and graduates supported by UofL’s NSF I-Corps Site Grant, military veterans supported by VetStart, under-represented entrepreneurs supported by ULaunch, and entrepreneurs from the community,” said Mary Tapolsky, assistant director of external programs at the Forcht Center.

LaunchIt has been offered 16 times and has graduated 480 entrepreneurs, many of whom continue to grow their businesses locally and achieve milestones including acceptance into local and national accelerators, securing investments, launching products, realizing revenues, hiring employees and successful exits. The next cohort will be in the spring.

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Janet Cappiello covers the College of Business, the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, the College of Education and Human Development, the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Sustainability Council and military initiatives for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since March 2014.