Archive for the ‘Ventures’ Category

U.Va. Student Innovator Named to Canada’s “Top 20 Under 20″

Joseph Linzon

Undergraduate student inventor–entrepreneur Joseph Linzon pitches "PowerSole" at the University of Virginia's 2011 Entrepreneurship Cup. Photo by Cole Geddy.

Rising second-year Joseph Linzon, of Toronto — whom you may recognize as the “face of U.Va. Innovation,” above — has been named to Canada’s “Top 20 Under 20.” The annual program recognizes Canadian youth whose “leadership and innovation has led to the betterment of [their] school, community, province and/or country.”

Inventor of the PowerSole, a shoe that converts kinetic energy into electrical energy with each step its wearer takes, Linzon is seeking to “empower the powerless” in developing countries. The PowerSole concept came in second overall in last year’s U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup, for which Linzon was awarded $10,000. [Read the full story.]

Congratulations, Joe!

CNBC Features Local App Developer

Tobias A. Dengel, CEO of WillowTree Apps Inc.

Tobias A. Dengel, CEO of WillowTree Apps Inc., discusses the future of mobile technology. Image credit: CNBC.

Charlottesville-based app developer WillowTree Apps Inc. was featured on CNBC this week when CEO Tobias A. Dengel gave his take on the future of mobile tech outside Apple’s 2012 Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. [Watch the video clip here.]

The company has built more than 100 apps for iPhone and iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry and Web, including “The Good Old App,” U.Va.’s official mobile application and Apple’s #1 “New and Noteworthy” education app. Among the free app’s lead features are interactive maps that allow users to search for and identify buildings on Grounds using GPS as well as push notifications for U.Va. athletics scores. [Download "The Good Old App" on iTunes and Android Market.]

Dengel, a former vice president at AOL, says WillowTree’s relationship with U.Va. extends far beyond the typical client–provider relationship. “Through our relationship with U.Va. and Darden we’ve been able to build a local tech business, have hired over 10 recent U.Va. grads, [and] have had over 15 U.Va. interns, all of which makes Charlottesville, U.Va. and WillowTree better.

“To us, this shows that U.Va. and Charlottesville can successfully take a page out of what Stanford, Harvard and others have been doing for years, and how U.Va. and Darden will hopefully continue to place a great premium on sourcing technology locally.”

Student Entrepreneurs: Ask the Experts!

E-Cup 2011

Student entrepreneurs react to expert feedback following their presentation at the 2011 U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup. Photo by Cole Geddy

Student entrepreneurs: Need help getting your idea off the ground, charting the right path for your business venture or finding a needle in a haystack? Why not ask a whole bunch of experts?

U.Va. Innovation — together with the E* Society, Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) and the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Darden School of Business — invite you to get your “burning questions” answered at a special event, held Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 5-7 p.m. at Alumni Hall.

Together in one room: serial entrepreneurs, financial advisers, lawyers, designers, project strategists, IT experts and others who want to discuss your ideas and how to make them a reality.

Register here to attend and get your questions answered.




Research Commercialization Funding Available from CIT

Last month, we shared the news that nine University of Virginia spin-offs were awarded nearly $1.8 million in federal funding under the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund, administered by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT).

CIT is now accepting proposals for the fund’s winter 2012 cycle, with letters of intent due this Friday, Feb. 17, at 11:59 p.m. Click here for more information and to apply.

Following required letters of intent, proposals will be accepted through March 8, with award announcements planned for mid-June.

Explore U.Va.’s Social Entrepreneurship Landscape

Social Entrepreneurship

Undergraduate student inventor–entrepreneur Joseph Linzon pitches "PowerSole" at the University of Virginia's 2011 Entrepreneurship Cup. Photo by Cole Geddy.


Interested in social entrepreneurship, … or maybe just interested to learn what it is?

Learn how University of Virginia students and faculty are engaging in this growing new arena at the next installment of U.Va. Innovation’s popular Innovation Roundtable seminar and networking series: Thurs., Feb. 16, from 5-7 p.m. at CitySpace. For details, click here. Register online by Feb. 14 here.

The program will feature:

Anselmo Canfora
Director, Initiative reCOVER
Assistant Professor, School of Architecture

Joseph Linzon (pictured above)
Student entrepreneur, PowerSole
Second-place winner, 2011 U.Va. Entrepreneurship Cup

Kevin Pujanauski
President, Student Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED)

Any questions for our panelists? Let us know in the comments!

Innovative U.Va. Product SpermCheck Fertility Hits Store Shelves

Move over, ovulation kits: A new product designed to help couples assess their fertility is now hitting store shelves.

SpermCheck Fertility, a product of innovative University of Virginia research developed by U.Va. spin-off ContraVac Inc., is an at-home diagnostic that allows men to gauge their fertility levels easily, non-invasively, inexpensively, and in the comfort and privacy of their own homes.

Marking an exciting milestone for the company — and couples everywhere who are trying to conceive — SpermCheck Fertility kits are now available online at Walgreen Co. and CVS Caremark Corp., hitting shelves at Walgreen’s 7,800 drugstores next month.

SpermCheck Fertility

SpermCheck Fertility, a male-fertility diagnostic based on U.Va. research, is now available online at Walgreen's and CVS.

For more information, see today’s article from Bloomberg News.

U.Va. Ventures Score $1.8M in State Funding to Commercialize Research

Pictured: A 3-D image of the spine -- with spinal bone depth indicated in grayscale -- rendered using Rivanna Medical LLC's proprietary ultrasound technology, developed at U.Va. Image courtesy of Rivanna Medical LLC

Nine U.Va.-affiliated companies have been awarded a total of nearly $1.8 million from the Center for Innovative Technology‘s Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund:

- Alexander BioDiscoveries LLC
- Gencia Corp.
- HemoShear LLC
- HemoSonics LLC
- Indoor Biotechnologies Inc.
- iTi Health Inc.
- Phthisis Diagnostics Inc.
- RetiVue LLC
- Rivanna Medical LLC

The fund, which “advances science- and technology-based research, development and commercialization to drive economic growth in Virginia,” awarded a total of $3.6 million to 22 organizations throughout the commonwealth in the fall 2011 cycle.

Read the full story on U.Va. Today.

See the complete list of the companies and projects receiving funding under the CRCF’s fall cycle here (PDF).