Polsky Announces 10 Teams in the Winter 2021 I-Corps Cohort

The I-Corps program is specifically designed for participants working on projects related to the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields. (Image credit: iStock.com/peshkov)

The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is pleased to announce the participation of 10 teams in the winter 2021 I-Corps cohort.

Open to other Chicago-area institutions, the Polsky I-Corps program is a highly-experiential, 7-week-long program. Each team receives a $2,500 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, which can lead to further opportunities for training and funding through the NSF’s national I-Corps program, Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR), and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.

The 2021 winter cohort includes participants from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Among the 10 teams, four have been accepted to Phase II of the 2021 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge (NVC), which, in its 25th year, is recognized as a top-ranked accelerator program in the US.

The Winter 2021 Cohort includes:

  • Allevia // Allevia is a digital opioid management solution designed to empower patients and pain clinicians to successfully implement medication management, health literacy, and monitoring to achieve long-lasting function improvement and pain management. (Team members: Jeremy Campbell, student, Chicago Booth; Heather Rajamoney, unaffiliated with the University of Chicago; Sudhakar Rajamoney, unaffiliated with the University of Chicago)
  • Blood Test to Predict Brain Hemorrhage // The team is developing smart blood tests to proactively identify molecular signals in the blood that indicate a predisposition to brain hemorrhage. Through these tests, the team hopes to help predict hemorrhages, especially imminent hemorrhagic strokes. (Team members: Issam Awad, John Harper Seeley Professor of Neurological Sciences of Surgery, University of Chicago; Romuald Girard, research assistant professor, University of Chicago; Yuan Ji, professor of public health sciences, University of Chicago; Abhinav Srinath, graduate student, University of Chicago; Akash Bindal, undergraduate student, University of Chicago)
  • iBench // The iBench is a data-driven, all-in-one guided multisensory meditation system delivering measurable relaxation and effortless performance to absolute beginners. (Team members: Kevin Jain, student, Chicago Booth; Emily Cunningham, student, Chicago Booth; Brett Adlard, MS ‘20; Jack Pio, student, Illinois Institute of Technology; Prince Hodonou, student, Illinois Institute of Technology)
  • iCT (Innovative Clinical Trials) // iCT is a digital platform providing innovative ways for patient and researcher education, engagement, and communication in every step of the clinical trial with the goals of improving enrollment and retention of trial participants. (Team members: Niten Goyal, student, Chicago Booth; Charlie Wang, student, Chicago Booth; Hariff Davies, student, Chicago Booth)
  • MadreCare // MadreCare is developing a SaaS maternal health platform to empower and educate mothers to identify postpartum warning symptoms and enhance care coordination among mothers and health providers. (Team members: Antonia Navarro, assistant research professor, University of Chicago; Sandeej Kottal, unaffiliated with the University of Chicago; Jennifer Li, student, Chicago Booth)
  • massPortage // massPortage is an IoT product and software services system for collecting, analyzing and visualizing event, condition, and location data related to objects in place, object mobility, person mobility, personal freight, micro-freight, and first/last mile freight and logistics. (Team members: Douglas Pancoast, faculty, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Bradley Johns, staff, School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Robb Drinkwater, faculty, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
  • Mighty Mouth Recycling // Mighty Mouth Recycling is developing a service using insect larvae to convert food waste into edible protein and fat for livestock, as well as nutrient-dense fertilizer for crops. (Team members: Chris Carmean, PhD ’15, faculty, University of Illinois at Chicago; Sen Kalidoss, student, University of Illinois at Chicago; Erik Choisy, staff, University of Michigan)
  • Navability // Navability is developing an artificial intelligence-based, novel open-source framework for the rapid development of Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) solutions in robotics applications. The team intends to utilize this framework to provide enabling technology for a wide range of companies needing localization solutions. (Team members: Samuel Claassens, student, Chicago Booth; Dehann Fourie, postdoc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jim Hill, unaffiliated with the University of Chicago; Johan Terblanche, unaffiliated with the University of Chicago)
  • NovaQare // NovaQare is developing a machine learning-powered software to optimize patient flows and scheduling while improving hospital operations, leveraging artificial intelligence and behavioral science. (Team members: Gerardo Chaquinga, staff, University of Chicago; Louise Heelan, staff, University of Chicago)
  • Stellatus // Stellatus is developing a transparent communications platform for open and secure communication between satellite operators to help reduce friction and increase safety and security in space. (Team members: Holly Highfill, student, Chicago Law; Guy Karim Caland-Puymartin, student, Chicago Booth; Raheel Syed, student, Chicago Booth; Kishen Raghunath, student, Chicago Booth; Alex Hernandez, student, University of Chicago; Jerry McIntyre, student, Chicago Booth)

All teams receive instruction and entrepreneurial education delivered by world-class faculty and staff from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in addition to individualized mentorship and coaching, access to resources, and training from the Polsky Center. No previous experience in business or entrepreneurship is required in order to be accepted into the program.

// For more information, contact Ellen Zatkowski.


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