Alice Shade (Photo courtesy Alice Shade / SentryHealth)
Alice Shade (Photo courtesy Alice Shade / SentryHealth)

The University of Louisville has hired seasoned healthcare startup founder, Alice Shade, to help guide research-backed inventions to market. 

In late January, Shade started her term as an entrepreneur in residence, or EIR, through the UofL Office of Research and Innovation. In this role, she will work with inventors and the Commercialization EPI-Center to connect UofL technologies to industry and startups.

“I’m excited to participate in this program and continue the momentum,” Shade said. “This program furthers the potential for impact to our communities and reflects the amazing work being done at the University of Louisville.”

Shade is a veteran of the healthcare industry, having worked in both large companies and startups. But coming back to campus as an EIR brings things full-circle: the company she founded, Louisville-based SentryHealth, was born at UofL.

SentryHealth has customized corporate care management programs that help employees stay healthy while controlling health care costs for employers.

Shade’s hiring marks the second class of UofL Research and Innovation EIRs. Funding for the program comes from the Louisville Entrepreneurship Acceleration Partnership (LEAP), a public-private partnership led by UofL and backed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, to grow Louisville’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The first round of EIRs, hired in April 2019, included Josh Nickols, Jeff Cummins and Charley Miller. Nickols and Cummins will continue to serve as EIRs through summer 2020, while Miller is now focused on his new, Vogt Award-winning startup, Unitonomy. 

The company is built around a UofL technology for measuring employee engagement, which Miller discovered and licensed while working with UofL. It’s the first license from the EIR program and the first from the UofL College of Education and Human Development. 

“We’re very excited to have Alice join us as an EIR, and to benefit from her knowledge and experience in the healthcare startup space,” said Will Metcalf, UofL’s executive director of strategic initiatives and chairman of the LEAP board. “We had great success with the first round of EIRs, and with Alice on board, we’re sure to build on that momentum.”