Invent@SU and LaunchPad student Russell Fearon ’20, a mechanical engineer in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, won the $50,000 grand prize as well as the $5,000 fan favorite prize last week at the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator™ competition at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.. He was one nine national finalists in the prestigious competition, presenting Sugex, a wearable device he developed through Invent@SU with teammate Ricardo Sanchez, a VPA School of Design student at SU. The device is an affordable and easy to use wearable technology, tied to a mobile app, that helps people manage diabetes. In the summer of 2019, Fearon and Sanchez conceived the idea and built an initial prototype at the Invent@SU invention accelerator. There, they worked with mentors at the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at SU Libraries to begin to develop a commercialization plan. He will be working with the LaunchPad team this academic year to advance along a product and business development roadmap.
Sponsored by the American Heart Association, the EmPOWERED to Serve Business Accelerator™ program aims to make a difference in under resourced communities by finding innovative solutions that expand access to healthy living and saves lives. The program recognizes social entrepreneurs or enterprises making a health impact through improving the social determinants of health in their communities.
Student entrepreneurs at the LaunchPad had a great deal of fun successfully running a fan campaign for Fearon in the run-up to the competition.
Photo: Russell Fearon (left) and Ricardo Sanchez (right)