Polsky Center Announces Spring 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, and Melissa Byrn, director of innovation programs at the Polsky Center.

Now in its fifth year, the Polsky I-Corps portfolio has risen to 139 teams– including notable alumni such as BallotReady, ExplORer Surgical, ClostraBio, and BiomeSense.

The Polsky I-Corps Spring 2019 cohort is:

4SR //A microbiome tRNA sequencing technology offers a novel way to characterize microbiome samples that is currently not available. The technology can enable scientists to characterize microbiome samples in a whole new dimension by measuring the physiological changes within a microbial sample.Team members: Tao Pan (PI) and Christopher Katanski

AB Forensics // Enables fast and accurate crime scene investigations with our cutting-edge biological individual identification technology. The antibody profiling technology can identify individuals based on bodily fluids 100x faster and at 1/10th the cost compared to forensic DNA analysis. Team members: Jordan Weiszhaar and Jenni Antane

Bug In Bug Out// Creating live biotherapeutics that are designed to reduce bacterial infections in animals and humans. Our lead product is a live biotherapeutic of a single species, Clostridia, that leverages the unique technology and research findings of Professor Cathryn Nagler. Team members: Cathryn Nagler (PI), Joe Bernstein, Meng Shi, Xinyi Wang, Nabil Salem, Hao Wu, and Lily Delalande

Campus Concierge // A technology solution that aims to improve enrollment outcomes at higher education institutions. The technology platform leverages a “digital wallet” concept to connect prospective students and their parents with campus experiences that are most relevant to their individual interests. Team members: Travis Wegren, Matthew Kim, Alex Sotiropoulos, and Justine Clarke

Editor// An http(s) server that not only displays static and dynamic HTML and Markdown pages, but also propagates modifications made to the pages back to the source files themselves, including databases. As a business, Editor will also serve LaTeX, PHP, SQL tables, CSS stylesheets. Team members: Mikaël Mayer, Ravi Chugh, Aseem Bhardwaj, and Praneet Wadge

Highly Multiplexed Microfluidic Cell Culture // Developed a patented microfluidic platform to culture mammalian cells. This device utilizes a unique three-layer architecture consisting of push-up and push-down pneumatic valves to individually address 1,536 cell culture chambers and investigate complex drug interactions and cell signaling dynamics. Team members: Savas Tay (PI), Navid Ghorashian, and Brooke Schuster

My Care Planner //An application that assists in the curation and presentation of key health data points to educate patients about the planning and management of their advanced care. The application would document patient’s health preferences and allow these preferences to be shared with healthcare providers. Team members: David Liebovitz (Advisor), Michael Cui, Shashin Chokshi, and Yosef Mendelsohn

Precision Nerve Block// A control system designed to administer individualized nerve block anesthetic based on real-time feedback showing the electrical response of a target nerve. We have already shown proof of concept and are now developing a catheter fit for human use, and expect to show effectiveness comparable to the previous prototype. Team Members: Giselle Jaramillo, Matthieu Chardon, Andres Cardona, and Curtis Wang

Undercovering Proprioceptive Function in Health and Illness// Proprioception is a sensory system that does not come to consciousness and is difficult therefore to measure using psychophysics. However, proprioception is absolutely required for movement. We have made a simple device that quantifies proprioceptive function, disentangling it from vision and thereby uncovering neurological sensory loss. Team members: Peggy Mason (PI), Yuri Sugano, and Ashley Riley

 Thinklive! Inc //Mobility language of the future. For students residing in under-resourced urban settings with inadequate education relevant supports, both needs and challenges are huge. The team is incentivizing solutions for schools and after school programs for increasing STEM student learning, engagement and participation. Team members: Margaret Beale Spencer (PI), Charles Spencer, and Yun He

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