Polsky Center Announces Winter 2019 I-Corps Program Cohort

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the latest cohort of the Polsky I-Corps program, a 7-week highly-experiential program designed to empower UChicago scientists, researchers, and students to test the commercial potential of their STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) research and ideas.

Teams receive a $2,500 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for their participation and are expected to dedicate an average of 4-7 hours per week to classroom sessions, homework assignments, and interviewing industry experts and potential customers. The program is led and taught by Starr Marcello, executive director of the Polsky Center and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth.

Now in its fifth year, the Polsky I-Corps portfolio has risen to 128 teams – including notable alumni such as BallotReady, ExplORer Surgical, ClostraBio, and BiomeSense.

The Polsky I-Corps Winter 2019 cohort is:

HPACG //The High Performance Assembly Code Generator (HiPACG) can significantly bridge the gaps between the hardware and software developments in the Information Technology field. Our innovation can be applied to many verticals. Team members: Jesse Wang (PI), Jianwei Li, and Jane Andrew

Enzyme by Design // Enzyme by Design (EbD) is developing a mammalian L-asparaginase to be used in cancer chemotherapy. The product’s advantages over currently approved FDA L-asparaginases include its human-like property (the approved drugs are of bacterial origin) plus being devoid of L-glutaminase co-activity (a source of toxicity of current variants). Team members: Arnon Lavie (PI), Amanda Schalk, Hien Anh Nguyen, Carolann Gernski

First Women’s Bank of Chicago// The First Woman’s Bank of Chicago is addressing a need for a safe and private environment where female millennials can discuss and share fears and hopes around financial literacy and money management. We are developing financial literacy tools designed to fit the needs of female millennials that speaks their language without the financial jargon. Team members: Lisa Kornick, Mati Engel, Misha Blackman

AVnovum Therapeutics  // To address immunocompromised patients’ unmet need for preventing virulent fungal infections, AVnovum Therapeutics Inc. has bioengineered and is continuously developing novel antifungal compounds. Team members: Judy Prasad, ittai Eres, Eugene Chang (PI).

Scholactivity Tracker// This team is developing a web based platform to log scholarly activities for health system departments of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, and for universities. Team members: Bryan McCarthy and Randy Knoebel.

Doctor in the Family // Doctor in the Family is a new type of cancer care service that will transform a cancer patient’s ability to make truly informed and well-educated decisions. Doctors who no longer provide direct patient care will help cancer patients understand and work through decisions related to their treatment and its sequelae. Team members: Judith Abramson and Sean Yixiong Liu.

DrLullaby // DrLullaby is an application (website and mobile) for pediatric behavioral sleep treatment. There are less than 20 certified and formally trained insomnia specialists yet 20-30% of kids have insomnia. This solution will help bridge that gap. Team members: Lisa Medalie, Ron Hui, and Rebecca Leonard.

SDB Inhibitor// SDB Inhibitor is a team currently working with the Launchpad in their development of a small molecule to use in sleep disordered breathing. Team Members: Nanduri Prabhakar (PI), Nabil Salem, Reetika Bhardwaj, and David McCormick.

Clinify// Clinify is a healthcare analytics company that supports rapid piloting and validation of clinical and behavioral health interventions which leads to a shortening of the quality improvement cycle for payors, pricing transparency and patient panel risk insights for providers, and improved access to care and health education resources for patients. Team members: Nate Pelzer and Brian Bettenhausen.

Medsemble //Automated scheduling tool for autism clinics to more efficiently and optimally schedule therapists and patients based on need and geography. Team members: Diana Yang, Jessica Goldberg, and Louis Ernst.

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