Kayla Simon and Elizabeth Tarangelo
Kayla Simon and Elizabeth Tarangelo

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.

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 ten 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 were accepted into the program based on their work as Syracuse University students.  They were winners of the inaugural Invent@SU invention accelerator and ACC InVenture Prize campus winners, advancing to the ACC finals at Georgia Tech.  They captured first place in the Panasci Business Plan Competition, Impact Prize, and RvD iPrize, earning $34,000 in campus competitions to advance their concept for a bracelet that holds up to 10 doses of asthma medication.  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.