A panel of judges chose Syracuse University alumni company MedUX, LLC, as the winner of Lever’s Berkshire Manufacturing Innovation Challenge (BMIC). The venture, founded by Alec Gillinder ‘20 and Quinn King ’20 (both VPA Industrial and Interaction Design), will receive a $25,000 award to continue developing their invention. Gillinder and King created the prototype for their innovative wearable infusion device at Invent@SU and developed it into a business at the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars where they were both Rubin Family Innovation Mentors. After graduating from Syracuse, they were accepted into the highly competitive Mass Challenge program and continued commercializing their invention.
“We regularly see Challenge winners and finalists expand, grow, and continue to innovate,” said Brent Filson, Lever’s Head of Innovation. “These entrepreneurs each began our program with strong concepts, and each advanced their business models substantially during our acceleration phase. I’m excited to see what each company goes on to do after participating in this Challenge.”
Each of four BMIC finalists pitched scalable innovations with applications in the health industry. To prepare for the Challenge, they worked with Lever to refine their business plans, network with medical and manufacturing industry leaders, and learn about marketing, supply chains, and other topics via Lever’s network of industry mentors.
Winners of past Lever Challenges have gone on to secure major U.S. government contracts, develop technology to ensure food safety nationwide, and raise millions of dollars from private investors.
“I want to express my gratitude to the Lever team for this opportunity to engage so early on in my tenure with an organization and a region of the state so important to our Commonwealth and our team at the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center,” said President and CEO Kenn Turner of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, which continues to support and partner with Lever on this and other Challenge competitions.
“We so excited and thank you for making this possible,” said King in accepting the award. “This has been an incredible journey and I am excited to move forward,” added Gillinder.
The team had an illustrious career as student founders at Syracuse. They were:
- Winner of Invent@SU Competition;
- Winner of the Impact Prize Competition;
- Winner of the Panasci Business Plan Competition, Whitman School of Management;
- Winner of the Syracuse University ACC InVenture Prize Competition, and second place winner of the ACC InVenture Prize conference competition at NC State;
- Winner of the Upstate NY Global Student Entrepreneurship Competition;
- Finalist in the nationals of the Global Student Entrepreneurship Competition;
- Winner of the Medical Device Challenge by the CNY Biotech Accelerator at Upstate Medical University.
As students, they interacted with top experts in the medical field – from the CEOs of major hospital networks to the CEOs of medical industry leaders and were invited to speak at medical industry trade groups such as MedTech, a major professional association in NYS.
“The entire Syracuse innovation ecosystem helped build the foundation for their student success as they launched,” added Linda Dickerson-Hartsock, executive director of the LaunchPad at Syracuse University. “We’re thrilled that they have graduated into their next phase with such a warm and embracing network of professionals who will help guide them along the next steps on their path to success.”