Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad participants Quinn King and Alec Gillinder won second place at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s (ACC) InVenture Prize Competition held April 16 – 18 at North Carolina State, Raleigh. King (VPA, ‘20) and Gillinder (VPA, ‘20) competed in a head-to-head, “Shark-Tank” style battle for “top inventor” in the ACC conference. As second place winners, they received a $10,000 prize. The final round of the competition was televised and broadcast by a number of Public Broadcasting stations across the Northeast region.
The two VPA School of Design students’ team, MedUX, created a wearable product that is a portable solution to traditional intravenous (IV) medical treatments. It allows patients to abandon the traditional IV pole for a more portable solution. Their invention, L-IV, which they’ve dubbed a “liberating intravenous” product, uses both gravity-fed and pressure infusion methods to allow infusion patients to remain mobile and active while receiving treatment.
Developed at Invent@SU, a collaboration between the College of Engineering & Computer Science (ECS) and the College of Visual & Performing Arts (VPA), the product is being refined and commercialized with assistance from the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries. The team has filed two provisional patents and is now filing a non-provisional patent to fully protect their invention, while they work with a team of expert industry advisors and strategic partners to bring their product to market.
The MedUX students built a team of professional regional advisors that included: Kathi Durdon, executive director, CNY Biotech Accelerator, SUNY Upstate Medical University; Winthrop (Win) Thurlow, executive director, MedTech Association; Kathryn Ruscitto, consultant and retired President and CEO, St, Joseph’s Health; Chris Horacek, principal, ICIP Consulting, LLC and former vice president and deputy general counsel, Welch Allyn; Cynthia Dowd Greene, retired executive, Quadrant Biosciences; and Dr. Robert A. Dracker, founder of Infusacare.
The team was also closely mentored by Blackstone LaunchPad executive director Linda Dickerson Hartsock and by ECS and VPA faculty, as well as Syracuse University innovation partners including: SU alumnus Gianfranco Zaccai, co-founder, president and chief design officer at EPAM Continuum; LaunchPad Syracuse Entrepreneurs in Residence Dennis Taussig, CEO of Taussig + Associates, and Tom Nerviano, managing partner of Smart Vines Consulting and former HR Director of Unilever. The Blackstone LaunchPad coordinated the campus qualifier and also mentored and coached the teams that competed for the coveted title of top ACC inventor. The Syracuse campus competition is supported by the Syracuse University Provost’s Office.
“The entire Syracuse University campus is proud of the MedUx’ team. This is an exceptional example of how Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad is partnering across campus to create innovative solutions through collaborative opportunities,” said David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian.
The ACC InVenture Prize Competition is a collaborative effort by institutional leadership from the ACC and represents an opportunity to stimulate undergraduate entrepreneurial activity and increase student-faculty engagement, celebrate and highlight the exceptional creativity and ingenuity of students, and inspire a greater sense of camaraderie across the conference. Teams representing each ACC university were given the opportunity to pitch their inventions or businesses before a live audience and panel of judges and competing for $30,000 in prizes and a chance to be the next winner. Fifteen university teams pitched during the preliminary round on April 16th, and five finalists were chosen to advance to the final round on April 17th. King and Gillinder were selected to participate in a final round against DeLive (Notre Dame), Ethos Medical (Georgia Tech), InnoHealth Diagnostics (FSU), and MIST (UVA).
In the four-year old competition, this is the second time a Syracuse University team has made it to the final five ACC InVenture Prize Competition. Kate Beckman ’17, G’18 (Newhouse), founder of FreshU, made it to the final five in 2017.
About the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries:
The Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the entire University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global network that provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors and creators. The program serves faculty, staff, students, and alumni across disciplines who are interested in venture creation and taking ideas for products, services or technologies from concept to commercialization. The program prepares participants to be trailblazers in an entrepreneurial world.