The University of Louisville’s LaunchIt entrepreneurial bootcamp has wrapped its fall 2023 session, graduating innovator teams developing new energy solutions, using virtual reality to improve healthcare and more.
LaunchIt, offered twice per year through the UofL Office of Research and Innovation, is an intensive eight-week hybrid course focused on Steve Blank’s lean launchpad methodology, which helps innovators and entrepreneurs test their ideas or products in the real world and see if they have what it takes to stick.
The program, taught by experienced and successful entrepreneurs, includes coaching, mentoring and curriculum including lessons on customer discovery, product validation and other considerations when preparing for market launch. The program is open to anyone in the region working to develop a technology-focused product or company.
Leads for the fourteen teams in the fall 2023 session were:
- Tom Alaimo: LifeStory Connection, software that personalizes the quality of care to their life and experiences, creating a person-centered approach to healthcare.
- Faisal Aqlan (J.B. Speed School of Engineering): A UofL data-driven interactive virtual reality clinic (IVRC) that enhances cognitive function provides an accurate assessment of dementia level to providers.
- Shavonne Bass: Loc’n Key, offering community driven products focused on sustainable, eco-friendly organic hair care products specifically designed for customers with locs.
- Zachary Fowler (J.B. Speed School of Engineering): A device for wearable continuous monitoring insulin biosensor to help physicians identify patients who are at risk for metabolic disease and Type II diabetes.
- Kelly Gibson and Jason Crist: Crison, an electrical infrastructure app for seamless integration of asset information and test result trending.
- Seokyoung Han (J.B. Speed School of Engineering): A smart device for interpreting dog behaviors combines imaging of the animal’s expressions with biometric data to relay accurate status to the owner.
- Arpan Jain: Jain Energy Co., a biofuel cell that promotes a neutral-carbon-based circular economy and reduces dependency on fossil fuels for electricity generation.
- Young Hoon Kim (J.B. Speed School of Engineering): Building construction materials that consume zero-water used in drought regions.
- Hallie Osborne (J.B. Speed School of Engineering): A device used for improved visualization when removing fluid from around the heart in emergent cardiovascular cases.
- Sumit Paul (J.B. Speed School of Engineering): A novel mechanical interlocking metamaterial that strengthens biomedical implants and increases durability after implantation.
- Farshid Ramezanipour (College of Arts and Sciences): A novel compound that efficiently generates hydrogen from water to provide a cheaper, environmentally friendly energy source.
- Nicolas Tehrani: Lode, a company creating full-flavor fermented non-alcoholic beverages for beer enthusiasts.
- Elton Thomas: Project Story Education, a company using cutting edge biometric technologies to design and provide education, fitness and security solutions.
- Imelda Wright (School of Nursing): An assessment tool used in several high-risk industries by identifying weaknesses in their safety systems.
LaunchIt is offered by the UofL New Ventures team as part of its National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps (I-Corps) program. All teams in this cohort received training, funding and other support from I-Corps to drive their innovation-backed technologies to market.
“LaunchIt was a window into the world of entrepreneurship,” said Ramezanipour, a UofL faculty member who participated as part of the I-Corps program. “It was a great experience and very helpful in understanding how to take your innovation to the next stage.”
UofL New Ventures works to launch and grow startups, and is supported in part by Amplify Louisville. LaunchIt coaches include the office’s Entrepreneurs in Residence, knowledgeable founders with an in-depth understanding of launching and growing a business.
The next session of LaunchIt, beginning in spring 2024, is now enrolling. More information and registration is available at uofl.me/launchit.