Denver Whittington, assistant professor in the Department of Physics, and Weiwei Zheng, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, are principal investigators for separate five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER awards. The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a…
Engineering and Computer Science Student Inventors Selected for Medical Device Innovation Accelerator
College of Engineering and Computer Science students Kayla Simon ’19 and Elizabeth Tarangelo ’19, co-founders of the In-Spire wearable asthma inhaler, have been accepted to the prestigious Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC) accelerator program. They plan to advance their invention that holds up to 10 doses of asthma medication in an easy-to-use bracelet.
The accelerator program, located at the Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) at Upstate, provides access to a 52,300-square-foot facility offering wet and dry labs, services, coordinated resources, targeted mentorship and education to individuals and startup companies involved in the commercialization of biotech innovation. It is an initiative to generate biotech bright ideas from concept to commercialization and foster translational research. The program offers both physical space for innovators, as well as an acceleration program that facilitates interactions with scientists, physicians, engineers, students, innovators, entrepreneurs, the business community and other partners.
Innovators from around the world compete for admission to the program, with a small cohort of less than 10 admitted each year for an intensive mentoring program with academic and business partners. CNYBAC partners with Syracuse University partners such as the Innovation Law Center + NYS Science and Law Technology Center and the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars on the MIND program.
Simon and Tarangelo developed In-Spire during the 2017 Invent@SU invention accelerator competition and were the winning team at the Fisher Center in New York City. They were also ACC InVenture Prize campus winners and advanced to the ACC finals at Georgia Tech. In addition, they captured first place in the Panasci Business Plan Competition, Impact Prize and RvD iPrize, earning $34,000 in campus competitions. They filed a provisional patent for their invention during the Invent@SU program, recently filed a non-provisional patent, and are working with campus resources such as the Blackstone LaunchPad to structure a path to market.
MDIC teams receive free workspace at the “Creation Garage” in the CNYBAC to develop and test early prototypes, determine a regulatory strategy, and work toward milestones from ecosystem mentors and provider networks.
Simon and Tarangelo are paired with a team of industry mentors who will work with them through the accelerator program. They will also participate in commercialization bootcamps to catalyze the next big idea in the fields of science, medicine, engineering, business and product development.
The program culminates in a “pitch day” to investors in early 2019.