SU student startup, In-Spire, wins Medical Device Innovation Challenge

Kayla and Elizabeth

In-Spire, a sleek wristband with an integrated small inhaler developed by Syracuse University seniors Kayla Simon and Elizabeth Tarangelo, captured first prize in the CNY Biotech Accelerator’s (CNYBAC) Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC).

“CNYBAC’s competitive MDIC teams have been receiving intensive mentorship and resource collaboration to include prior art research and patent assistance from the Innovation Law Center at the College of Law, Syracuse University and student engineering design capstone programs at both Syracuse University and Queen’s University,” said Kathi Durdon, CNYBAC’s director of operations and innovation partnerships. “In-Spire has received extensive assistance through the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University which provides a pipeline of applicants to the MDIC Program.”

The In-Spire team has already hit a big milestone by filing a non-provisional patent for its device, conceived through the Invent@SU program, and refined through participation in the LaunchPad at SU Libraries.  The team recently incorporated as an LLC, has won $38,000 in business plan competitions, including the Panasci Business Plan, Impact Prize, iPrize, Invent@SU, NYS Business Plan Competition, and Global Student Entrepreneurship Award.  Simon and Tarangelo worked with mentors through the MDIC program to focus on product development in compliance with FDA standards to move towards commercialization.

Pitch event moderator was Esther Vargas, Director, Emerging Ventures Ecosystem (EVE), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  Pitch judges included:  Winthrop Thurlow, Executive Director, MedTech; James Shomar, Program Director, StartFast Venture Accelerator; David Mankiewicz, Sr. Vice President, Policy & Planning, CenterState CEO; Scott Hancock, Director, IP Management and Licensing, Binghamton University; and Jay Reeder, PhD, President and COO, EndoGlow (2017 MDIC Participant).

Along with In-Spire, four other teams participated in the MDIC program.

Avant Medical Systems, Inc. is a medical device development company that has designed and patented a medical device that it plans to manufacture and market. The medical device will help medical professionals deliver better care that will reduce the number of medical errors and malpractice liability, while improving the quality of patient comfort and care.  Avant Medical has been accepted in both Syracuse University and Queen’s University, Engineering Capstone Design Project.  Company Location:  Alaska. Team Members: Sheridan Heinrichs, CEO; Scott Hilton, Attorney

CelltOmics is a pathology cell processing start-up designed to address the problem of diminutive specimens and the ever-increasing number of tests being required of them.  Celltomic’s disruptive technology has the capacity to revolutionize personalized medicine laboratory methods.  CelltOmics was selected as a finalist for the FuzeHub Commercialization Competition. Company Location:  Buffalo, NY. Company Member: Wilfrido Mojica, M.D., Founder.

ANDRO is a subset team from ANDRO Computational Services that is developing an innovative spinal medical device to support a self-learning, smart-assist stabilizer leveraging ANDRO’s AXLForce C4 AI software and machine learning technologies. Company Location:  Rome and Syracuse, NY. Team Members:  Evan Drozd, Nick Polosky.

The Hive (Hive Refrigeration) is a design firm creating technological solutions able to decrease energy expenditure and enable monitoring of mobile medical refrigeration capabilities. The line of products is being created to solve issues around energy dependent, immobile and unmonitored temperature systems in current medical refrigeration units.  Company Location:  Rochester, NY. Team Members: Adolf Akuffo-Afful, CEO; Khadijah Williams, VP of Design; Jake Wexler, CE; Nick Condello, CDO; O’Nell Campbell, CME; Tracy Martini, COO; Mavis Nvodjo, CFO.

Applications for 2019 are available now through May 31, 2019 at: