The Prototype Fund, a partnership between the Innovation Hub at Research Park at Texas Tech University and the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA), part of Market Lubbock Inc., has awarded the largest amount of funding to date to 10 technology startups.
The fund, designed to spur innovation in the West Texas community, has awarded a combined $136,550 this year in support of the development of early-stage technologies at the Innovation Hub. The Prototype Fund supports technology startups to develop a minimal viable product (MVP), assist in the development of intellectual property and validate their technology for currently funded projects or new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) proposals.
“The Prototype Fund is one of our popular programs among the Texas Tech research community,” said Kimberly Gramm, associate vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship in the Office of Research & Innovation and the chief operating officer of the Innovation Hub. “We see a wide range of innovative technologies from medical education, healthcare, energy and agriculture sectors that could benefit from initial grant funding to further develop proof-of-concept into an MVP. A committee reviews all the applications to narrow the field, identifying candidates that exemplify innovation and have broader societal and regional impact.”
The awardees include students and faculty from Texas Tech and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) as well as members of the community.
The 10 Prototype Fund awardees for 2021 and their prototypes are:
Surgic LLC ($25,000)
- Developing technologies that provide transformative experiences in medical education.
- Team: Paul Egan, Texas Tech faculty; Travis Reiss, Texas Tech student, Kyle Fenn; Texas Tech alumnus; Christopher Ackerman, Texas Tech alumnus; and Arham Siddiqui, TTUHSC alumnus.
Envirostatus LLC ($25,000)
- Passive sampling services for environmental monitoring
- Team: Magdalena Rakowska, Texas Tech staff; Balaji Anandha Rao, Texas Tech staff; Danny Reible, Texas Tech faculty; and Alex Smith, Texas Tech student.
Advanced Codex Solutions LLC ($25,000)
- A non-invasive, low-cost and mobile diagnostic tool for the early detection of both Melanoma and Buruli ulcer disease.
- Team: Courtney Queen, TTUHSC faculty; George Zouridakis, community member; and Tarun Wadhawan, community member.
Buclid LLC ($15,000)
- A medical education software for longitudinal assessment of medical students.
- Team: Sarah Kiani, TTUHSC faculty; Hassan Khalid, TTUHSC faculty; and John Ciubuc, TTUHSC student.
3 CulinaryMed Docs LLC ($10,000)
- An electronic repository of various culinary medicine education videos created by registered dietitians to assist people with an acute or chronic disease to improve their diet quality and overall health.
- Team: Allison Childress, Texas Tech faculty; Shannon Galyean, Texas Tech faculty; and Michelle Alcorn, Texas Tech faculty.
- A portable, low-energy, low-cost, “Smart Breathing Window” that can automatically detect indoor-outdoor air conditions and can initiate air exchanges to ensure indoor air quality.
- Team: Wei Li, Texas Tech faculty; and Shakil Shimul, Texas Tech student.
SmartMate Solutions LLC ($8,750)
- A solution to reduce the risk of patient falls at hospitals and other health care settings.
- Team: Debajyoti Pati, Texas Tech faculty; James Yang, Texas Tech faculty; John Harry, Texas Tech faculty; and Seyedehnastaran Hashemi, Texas Tech student.
HiPR Innovation Inc. ($7,800)
- Devices to prevent pressure ulcers.
- Team: Harikishan Sachdev, TTUHSC student.
Aeonian Xai LLC ($5,000)
- One-of-a-kind cosmetic industry applicators that provide simplicity and convenience for customers.
- Team: Sylvia Kuperaza, community member.
Staycite Inc. ($5,000)
- A marketplace for professional academic collaboration.
- Team: Bogdan Olevskyi, Texas Tech student; and Iryna Konopkina, Texas Tech student.