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Current Incubator Teams
SmartDialysis (entered in May 2014)
Founded by Li (Adam) Deng ‘14MS, Aizhong Zhang ‘14MS (PhD candidate in Optics), Bowei Zhang ‘14MS, and advisor George Anstadt, SmartDialysis developed a nanomembrane technology-based portable hemodialysis unit. This device will improve life quality for over 600,00 end-stage renal disease patients in the U.S. The company took first place and the $10,000 cash prize in the 2014 Mark Ain Business Model Competition.
Oasis Foods (entered in June 2016)
Oasis Foods is a benefit corporation with a dual for-profit and social mission cofounded by Kat Cook ‘17S, Fahria Omar ‘17S, and Sarah Spoto ‘17S. Oasis provides low-cost, healthy frozen meals to impoverished communities with a long-term goal of improving community health through food. In the 2016 New York Business Plan Competition, they won first place in the statewide finals (a $10,000 award), were a Finger Lakes Semi-Final Winner in the Social and Non-Profit category, and a winner of Social Entrepreneur Scholarship to attend SOCAP (Social Capital Markets Conference for Social Entrepreneurship) in 2016.
Pollinate Publicity (entered in June 2016)
Delivering quick and easy marketing to the University of Rochester’s River Campus is the main goal of Pollinate Publicity, founded by Jeff Hrebenach ’17 (KEY), Morgan Mehring ’16 (Take Five), Max Sims ’16 (Take Five), and Wilfred Wallis ’17. Their comprehensive web platform allows event organizers to create flyers using an extensive predesigned template library. From there, users can browse an interactive map to select buildings to display their advertisements, sharing information in a simplified yet structured way. Pollinate Publicity won first place in the Forbes Entrepreneurial Competition, completed the NSF I-Corps Site Program in April 2016, and signed their first two clients in September 2016.
Humans for Education (entered in September 2016)
Humans for Education was founded by Frace Batarse ’16 (URMC-MS) and Daphne Pariser ’20 (URMC-PhD candidate) in 2015 to empower students through education and self-sustainability. The company partners with schools in developing nations to provide educational programs that assist students and teachers in building better futures for themselves and their communities.
CupQ (entered in November 2016)
CupQ is a biomedical search engine designed to deliver better search results, designed by Jesse Wang ’19 (URMC, PhD). Current search platforms like PubMed, Semantic Scholar, and Google Scholar only show articles that contain the user’s search terms, while CupQ interprets indirect concepts to link together seemingly unrelated terms.
ChoooChew (entered in September 2016)
ChoooChew is a mobile app designed by Jonah Burstein ‘17 that allows Amtrak train passengers to order food from restaurants along their route. Once the order is placed, it is delivered to the train as it arrives in the designated station. ChoooChew also completed the NSF I-Corps Site Program in spring 2017.
Nectar (entered in January 2017)
Nectar, a friendship-forming app, allows users to build connections through sport. Using a location-based system, individuals are able to see activity-based groups in their area or create their own; a group messaging platform helps solidify future plans. The founders of Nectar – Daniel Aliber ’17, Sarah Kingsley ’17, Nathaniel Kuhrt ’17, and Joshua Stern ’17 – also completed the NSF I-Corps Site Program in fall 2016.
Past Incubator Teams
Margin Bargain, founded by Aaron Smith ‘14S (MBA), was an online service provider that would offer the leverage of a large wholesaler to an individual company’s needs. Smith exited the UR Student Incubator in 2013.
Founded by Kelly Kasle ‘14E, Harmony marketed an all-natural, anti-inflammatory cream that would provide pain relief and preventative protection against repetitive stress injuries common amongst musicians. Though Harmony is no longer being pursued, Kasle moved to Los Angeles to continue her entrepreneurial aspirations by working for Cadenza Artists, an artist management company.
Off The Grid
Off The Grid served as a B2B equipment distributor and an energy-use consultant firm to reduce energy demanded by businesses in select geographical regions and terrains. Founded by Jack Knoll ‘13S (MBA) and Sarah Armstrong ‘13S (MBA), Off The Grid no longer exists due to restraints with current suppliers. Knoll now serves as Marketing Director for Forsake, a clothing and shoe company he connected with during his time at the University of Rochester.
An online brokerage and investment company, Jonny Trade was founded by Jonathan Markowicz ’13S (MBA). This company’s website used a tiered, subscription-based pricing structure as the foundation for all transactions, differentiating itself from existing programs.
Goalee, founded by Chris Sturgill ‘11S (MBA) and James Brown ‘11S (MBA), was a social networking site that blended two familiar existing platforms. Formerly Aught9, Goalee combined the benefits of a networking site (like LinkedIn) with online matchmaking sites (like eHarmony).
Map My Career
Map My Career provides web users with a comprehensive representation of employment opportunities in the U.S. Created by Timothy Minahan, Jr. ’12, the platform features a national map, color-coded to display the density of jobs available. Additionally, users can also access rent rates, crime statistics, and climate information for desired areas.
bzdesign, named after founder Benjamin Zombek ‘13S (EMBA), is a design consultancy firm. In addition to offering a full array of print and web-based design solutions, Zombek also specializes in user experience design and market research and strategy. bzdesign continues to conduct business and Zombek also runs the First Prototype Lab at HTR.
Integrated Education Solutions
Jagger Koerner ’14 (MD/MBA) created Integrated Education Solutions, a service used to integrate free and open source educational materials online. By combining these into a comprehensive product, Koerner was able to offer people a low-cost way to access high quality content.
MelioraTx, cofounded by Christopher Henry ‘14S (MBA, Laura Jo Marino ‘15S (MBA), and Audrey McNamara ‘14S (MBA), developed a mobile device checklist application and data analytics platform. A finalist in the 2014 Mark Ain Business Model Competition, the system tracks compliance with best practices for the prevention of central line infections at a bedside in real-time.
CityWhisk, founded by Stacey Lampell ‘14S (MBA) and Jonathan Markowitz ‘13S (MBA), was an activity planning app that built free and personalized itineraries. The team graduated into the HTR LaunchPad in 2014, but has since decided to pursue a new venture called Voluncruit. (http://www.citywhisk.com/)
Health Care Originals
Founded by Sharon Samjitsingh, Prinson Dsouza, Ran Gao, and ChenChen Qu (each graduated with a Masters of Science in Technical Entrepreneurship and Management in 2013), Health Care Originals developed an Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring, or A.D.A.M. This device provides asthma sufferers with a safe, non-invasive method for asthma management. The team took first place (and $10,000) in the Mark Ain Business Model Competition, 2015-2016 Innovator of the Year Award at the Innovation World Cup, and was a 2015-2016 Healthcare and Wellness Winner in the same competition. Health Care Originals graduated into the HTR Affiliate Program in 2014 and continues to innovate today. (http://healthcareoriginals.com/)
Feldman College Advising
Feldman College Advising, a resource for high school students and families to navigate the application process for higher education, was founded by Margaret Feldman ‘15S (MBA) and Elena Chadwick ‘15S (MBA). During their time in the incubator, they doubled their clients and made great strides in learning about growing a business. The team graduated from both the Simon School of Business and the Incubator Program in June 2015, but the company continues to run on a part-time basis. Feldman also served as a preliminary round judge for the 2016 Mark Ain Business Model Competition. (http://feldmancollegeadvising.com/)
MotionCorrect is a medical imaging company dedicated to bringing clarity to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The founding team – Junning Chai ‘15MS, Sairam Ramasubramaniam ‘15S (MBA), Nishant Saboo ‘15S (MBA), and Wenli Wang (PhD candidate in Biomedical Genetics) – won first place in the 2015 Mark Ain Business Model Competition. Though the company continues to run in Montreal, Canada, the original team is no longer with the business. (http://motioncorrect.com/)
CampusFly, a centralized event management platform, allowed college communities to compile on- and off-campus event listings. With CampusFly, students did not have to worry about missing events, as they could filter their personal preferences and customize notifications. This platform, designed by Ervis Vukaj ’16 and Rikesh Thapa ’15, also enabled event organizers and businesses to bypass traditional marketing routes and appeal directly to their target audience. (http://campusfly.us/)
Rochester Tech Repairs
James T. Nathan ’17 and Evan Basta ’16, ’17 (KEY) founded Rochester Tech Repairs, a company dedicated to providing hardware repairs for phones, tablets, computers, and other personal electronic devices. Though the company left the Student Incubator in 2015, they continue to offer repair services through their own website. (http://rochestertechrepairs.com)
Ovitz – founded by Joung Yoon (Felix) Kim ’14, Pedro Pablo Vallejo ’16, Aizhong Zhang ‘14MS (PhD candidate in Optics), Sam Steven ’14, Len Zheleznyak (PhD candidate in Optics), and Ana Garcia ’14 – created the EyeProfiler, an eye measurement device that is portable, inexpensive, and multifunctional. The team, who wished to make vision correction available to more people, placed first in the 2013 Charles and Janet Forbes Entrepreneurial Award Competition and third in the 2013 Mark Ain Business Model Competition. Internationally, Ovitz has already established a Korean subsidiary with 4 employees and has raised roughly $1.5 million in investments and grants. Additional awards and honors include: first place and $50,000 in cash at the 2014 Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest; second place and $5,000 in the Biotechnology/Healthcare category of the 2014 New York Business Plan Competition; semifinalist in the 2014 43North $1 million global business plan competition; winner of the Optics, Photonics, and Imaging Award of the 2014 Digital Rochester GREAT Awards and finalist in the Student Achievement and Rising Star categories of the GREAT Awards that same year. Ovitz exited the Student Incubator in 2016 and joined the HTR Affiliate Program to continue their business goals, already partnering with reputable institutes, hospitals, and charitable organizations. (http://o-vitz.com/)
As numbers of international students grow, more people are completing the application process. Applying is often facilitated through a helpful network of individuals, but the post-application/post-acceptance period can be frustrating and fruitless. PostApp allows these accepted international students to connect with U.S. programs – such as internships, travel opportunities, etc. – in the meantime, providing them with resources to jump start their American experience. Founded by Zijie (Jay) Zhao ’17, Ricky (Zino) Binhai Hu ’16, Xinran Li ’17, Yuan (Aries) Laing ’16, and Junru Zhang ’17, PostApp completed the NSF I-Corps Site Program in December 2015 and continues to conduct business.
BPR Breast Pump Redesign
BPR Breast Pump Redesign worked to redesign the modern breast pump to make it more discrete, comfortable, and effective. Founded by Sameer Shamsie ‘15MS, Tucker Burgin ‘16MS, and Sarah Wayson ’20 (PhD candidate), BPR left the Incubator in 2016 after deciding not to proceed.
Blackout Games – cofounded by Kedar Shashidhar ’16 (KEY) and David Porter ’16 (KEY) – is an independent game studio and audio production team focused on developing audio-only horror video games. Their first creation, Sight Unseen
, uses binaural audio and geometric reverb to create a world where players can interact and traverse the gamescape with their eyes closed. Blackout completed the NSF I-Corps Site Program in April 2016 (and received a $3,000 grant), but left the Incubator in 2016.
LighTopTech Corp., founded by Cristina Canavesi ’12MS, ’14PhD and ’15S (MBA), won first place in the 2012 Mark Ain Business Model Competition and was a finalist in the Optics, Photonics and Imaging Award category of the 2014 Digital Rochester GREAT (Greater Rochester Excellence and Achievements in Technology) Awards. The woman-owned company was awarded a $225,000 STTR Phase I Grant from the National Science Foundation in December 2014 and an additional $750,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Grant from the NSF in 2015. LighTopTech builds optical instruments to improve non-invasive imaging in the manufacturing and medical fields. Their technology is based on Gabor-doman optical coherence microscopy, or GD-OCM. LighTopTech Corp. left the Student Incubator in 2016 and moved into office space in HTR’s main business incubator. (http://lightoptech.com/)
The FormKey (formerly CLO ONDemand), founded by Robert J. Kauffman, Esq. ‘16S (MBA), is every frequent mover’s dream: an app and web platform that caters to the 37 million Americans who move each year by providing valuable information for their transition. The program organizes a packet of paperwork for the individual (such as change of address, change of car registration, pet licensing, driver’s license forms, etc.) and allows users to complete them efficiently sans stress. (https://theformkey.appspot.com/)
Capable of tracking a user’s movements, NullSpace VR is a multisystem platform and wearable technology used for environmental virtual reality. In other words, the system can translate physical movement into a virtually-constructed space and also provides haptic feedback when one comes in contact with a virtual object. Cofounders Morgan Sinko ’16, Lucian Copeland ’15, ’16 (KEY), Jordan Brooks ’15, Casey Waldren ’17, and Minsoo Lee ’16 won first prize in the Charles and Janet Forbes Entrepreneurial Award Competition and second place in the 2015 Mark Ain Business Model Competition. NullSpace completed the NSF I-Corps Site Program in 2015 and the NSF I-Corps National Teams Program in spring 2016 (awarded $50,000 grant). They also completed the Y-Combinator Fellowship in 2015 ($12,000 grant) and came in second place in the 2016 Rochester Venture Challenge. In 2016, NullSpace was a semi-final winner in Advanced and Nano Technology and a statewide second place finisher in the 2016 New York Business Plan Competition. Other awards include: 2015 Digital Rochester GREAT Award winner in the Student Achievement category; 2015 Maker Faire Pitch Your Prototype finalist; 2015 Microsoft Imagine Cup National Finalist; 2015 Intel-Cornell Cup third place winner; and 2014 Intel-Cornell Cup finalist. The team left the incubator in 2016 when cofounders moved to Seattle, where they promptly raised $500,000 in venture funding and $145,574 from a Kickstarter campaign. (http://nullspacevr.com/)
The Everywhere Pen from 0Limits is an electronic instrument that can be used on any surface to control a computer, tablet, or smartphone. Users can click, write, and draw – anything they can do with a stylus on a touchscreen – without needing a touchscreen or additional equipment. Cofounders Facundo Ciancio ‘16MS, Ian Lin ‘16MS, Alvise Pallaro ‘16MS, and David Thomas ‘16MS won the 2016 Mark Ain Business Model Competition and completed the NSF I-Corps Site Program in April 2016.
ShipIT aims to streamline the shipping process by cross-referencing logistical services to find the fastest – and cheapest – option. Their major goal is to provide a significant efficiency boost to moving goods around the country. Cofounded by Antonio Cardenas ’17, Vito Martino ’17, and Jesse Reichenstein ’16, ShipIT completed the NSF I-Corps Site Program in December 2015 and exited the Incubator a year later.
Utilizing the second harmonic generation signal of collagen in tandem with an endoscope, Endoptix aims to diagnose cancer in real time. Through the use of this technology, the team hopes to extend their diagnostic capabilities throughout the body, from the lower gastrointestinal tract to brain cancers. The founding team – Aaron Allen ‘16MS, Ryan Dawes ’16PhD, and Anchal Sharma ‘16MS – won third place in the 2016 Mark Ain Business Model Competition ($1,000 cash award) and completed the NSF I-Corps Site Program in April 2016 ($3,000 grant) before leaving the Student Incubator in December 2016.