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Program accelerates UA startups

Courtesy+of+Jordan+Singer+%2F+InnovateUA

Courtesy of Jordan Singer / InnovateUA

The InnovateUA’s Accelerator provides students with the essentials needed to make their newly developed startups thrive. 

Accelerator is a six-week course where mentors, resources and a workspace will be available for the new student startups accepted into the program, according to Dominic Taguinod, the InnovateUA director of Accelerator. 

Students who applied filled out a joint application for the InnovateUA Accelerator and the 2015 Perkins Coie Innovative Minds Challenge. Taguinod said students will compete for a total of $10,000 in cash prizes provided by Perkins Coie, as well as prizes provided by other sponsors. 

The program is meant to provide the tools needed to help further develop business startups in order to prepare them for the second phase of their business models. After the six weeks, students will take part in a demo day, where they will present to the Arizona Center for Innovation and Perkins Coie for cash prizes. 

Taguinod said that out of the 25 or so applicants, 11 were accepted based on criteria like team commitment, intellectual property, resources, solutions, impact and their response on what they would do with the money if they won. Here are some of the accepted applications.

LinkX

LinkX is meant to improve inventory among pharmacy chains while helping individuals gain access to hard-to-find medication by linking community pharmacies, said co-founder Jason Kwan a second-year pharmacy student. He said that this program will allow him and his team to learn the ins and outs and for LinkX to be taken to the next step. 

Infinurja

“Infinurja designs, produces, and sells patent-pending products that use organic waste and natural biological processes to generate continuous electricity to power homes,” said Vinay Nenwani, a management information systems graduate student and CEO of Infinurja. Nenwani added that he and his team needed to be accepted in order to have the seed money to conduct prototype testing and make their dreams into reality. 

ABA Specialists

ABA Specialists is a company dedicated to focusing on providing behavioral therapy to kids with special needs and developmental issues, said Yvette-Marie Margaillan, a management information systems graduate student and the founder and CEO of the company. ABA stands for applied behavior analysis; it is a key factor in understanding developmental issues, said Margaillan, who hopes her software will help with data collection.

CrateCrops

“CrateCrops is an aquaponic technology manufacturer that is providing a [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] platform to K-12 and university-level schools,” said Shawn Ludgate, a senior studying economics and entrepreneurship and the co-founder and CFO of CrateCrops. “By providing this platform, we are trying to train teachers in aquaponic technologies to then teach students about STEM.”

Smart Mason

General studies senior Isaac Ost, co-founder of Smart Mason, said he is creating a smart kitchen scale but on the lid of a mason jar, to appeal to those who use mason jars.

Fast Table

Fast Table allows customers to “ping” their servers when eating out whenever a problem arises during a meal. The data will then be collected and turned in to customer service trends, said Mary Coffelt, a biomedical engineering student and manager of Fast Table. 

Hurb

Hurb is a system that will help young students communicate in order to increase education and engagement in the STEM fields, according to co-founder Rodrigo Savage, a computer engineering graduate student.

The other startups chosen are Edible Optics, uNet, Agent Sage and ConneKT. 

The finalists said that it’s really motivating to be chosen, because it validates not only their ideas but also the hard work they’ve put in. The startups are currently looking ahead in order to execute a business model to lay a foundation for success. 

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Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.

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