NSF I-Corps Site grant recipients named

In collaboration with UW CoMotion, the Foster School’s Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship has accepted 18 teams into the new UW NSF I-Corps Site grant program. The accepted teams will each receive a $2,500 customer discovery development grant along with mentorship, networking opportunities and other resources. Each team is pursuing a technology-related startup or commercialization opportunity and is required to enter one of the Buerk Center’s three innovation competitions.

The steering comittee for the program consists of Payman Arabshahi, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering; Connie Bourassa-Shaw, Director of the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship; Dan Schwartz, Director of the Clean Energy Institute; and Patrick Shelby, Director of CoMotion Innovation Programs. All 18 teams are in very early stages of development.


Ryan Ahearn, Leila Asfari, Tessa Gomes, Jack Kamel, Emraj Sidhu, Marene Miley, Paul Denisenko

Eta1 decreases greenhouse gas emissions by using Heat Energy Return (H.E.R.) to improve the performance and fuel efficiency of any gasoline or diesel-powered vehicle.

Rucha Nimbalkar, Damiene Stewart, Jumana Karwa, Samir Sbai, Xinhe Wang, Sri Hari Vignesh, Pooja Vade

iTrajectory uses GPS to track the user’s trajectory over time, then combines that trajectory information with social media usage.

William Canestaro

The Institute for Protein Design has developed a novel therapeutic enzyme, KumaMax, which benefits patients with Celiac disease by cleaving the immunogenic region of gluten in the patient’s stomach.

Student-focused computer voice commands
Ren-Wei Larry Chang, Mae Oreiro, Javier Serrano, Jonathan Suh, Mark Dela Rosa, Huy Ngo

This team bridges the gap between students with impaired vision and other disabilities by creating an automated voice interpretation software beyond what current technologies offer.

Bio-methane production units
Kevin Cussen, Sara Brostrom, Sameer Dawande, Sam Wright, Stacy Vautour Hanks, KaiQing Zhu

By creating and installing bio-methane production units in homes, indoor biomass pollution will be reduced. Indoor pollution created by households using biomass (charcoal, wood and dung) is the leading cause of death in India.

Kevin Fukuhara, Vikas Singh, Nihal Uppugunduri, Saket Potluri, Jacob Jagodinski

OstomyTech’s Individualized Wafer Cutting System (IWCS) is a stoma management system including a smartphone application and a personalized wafer service which creates personalized stoma wafers that are safer than current self-serve stoma wafer cutting system.

Non-invasive IOT blood pressure measurement
Jared Herdlevar, Jeffery Lytle, Willie Jensen, Mindy Huynh

Data is collected through an IOT device using pulse transit time, which is able to be analyzed and collected.

Travel and travel planning application
Aaron Joya, Sahith Cheera

By developing a mobile application allowing customers to find pre-established routes in a specified travel destination, customers are able to travel plan more easily.

Z-ion+ Technology
Ruying Chen, Sabrina Kamran, Marvin Mecwan, Marleny Santos

Z-ion+ long-lasting grafts have coatings that prevent blood clots. Currently, 75 percent of grafts fail within two years of implementation. Z-ion+ Technology solves this issue.

Brain tissue displacement detection device
Peter Chiarelli, Devon Griggs, Maitham Naeemi, Michael Lenning

This non-imaging ultrasound device that can detect the point of the largest brain tissue displacement due to blood pooling in the cranium better and faster than current techniques (including CT scans).

Geo-tagged social media usage
Korey Padilla

By using geo-tagged food- and drink-related posts and aggregrating the posts into one place, customers and restaurants are able to access a wider variety of reviews.

Smart Charger Pro
Nannan Jiang, Niccolo Fortes, Samson M. Smith, Yutian Qian

The Smart Charger Pro charges electronic devices with optimal and customizable charging time by creating a longer lasting charge and better preserved battery quality.

Brian Stuart, Zach Sulauf, Moe Malakoutian

Triangul8 is a simple, icebreaking social game that fosters communication and strategic thought between two people or two couples and is played online or using mobile devices.

Aquapel: Self-cleaning solar panel surface coating
Di Sun, Karl F. Bohringer, Vijay Manohar Cherukuru, Mohan Vagul

Dust can reduce solar panel efficiency by up to 35 percent and current cleaning systems can be too expensive for the everyday user. Aquapel is a self-cleaning coating technology which repells oil and water and reduces dust accumulation.

Christian Taylor, Ian Turner, Justin Lee

FitTraction is a web and mobile application that is going to revolutionize the fitness industry by improving motivation, accountability, and engagement resulting in higher member retention rates, more people involved in training, and healthier individuals.

Diabetics breath analyzer
Danling Wang, Qifeng Zhang

Patients with diabetes currently monitor their health by using finger pricks and blood tests. This team is developing a low-cost, portable breath analyzer using materials with a sensitive response to acetone.

6ixS Vascular Solutions
Isaac Lam, Melissa Gile, Nicholas Zhen Hung Soo, Jason Dang, Anna Nordstrom, Ellyce Shulman

By creating a synthetic vascular graft that heals completely into a native vessel, this team can vastly improve the outcome of vascular surgeries. The most prevalent synthetic fraft in the market for hemodialysis currently has a success rate of only 50 percent over a one-year period.

Leave a Reply