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Schurz Communications awards funding to student startups

Schurz Communications Innovation Challenge, an incubation competition for student entrepreneurs working in online and mobile media technology, awarded funding to two Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering student startups: Incas Diagnostics and WristSense.
Laud Anthony Basing

The competition provided a total of $10,500 in cash prizes to four startups. The Purdue Foundry in the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship hosted the competition.

Incas Diagnostics, founded by Laud Anthony Basing, a graduate research assistant in Linnes Lab at Purdue’s Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, won second place. It provides urine-based diagnostic kits for women at risk for sexually transmitted infections in resource-limited countries.

“Since clinic-based tests can be expensive, Incas Diagnostics offers a solution by providing $6 diagnostic kits completed in 10 minutes and dispensed in public bathrooms,” Basing said. “And the kits are linked to a mobile application offering privacy and convenience to women.”

The company will invest its $3,500 in prize money in the purchase of Biodot XYZ 3060 dispensers in order to make the produce available to purchase.

“During the challenge, I met with a mentor and obtained invaluable feedback about my innovation and presentation,” Basing said. “I look forward to collaborating with people interested in my work in the coming months.”

Shruthi Suresh

WristSense, a 3D printed, gesture-controlled wrist brace, received $500 for winning the Fan Favorite Award. The device assists individuals with hand mobility or coordination issues to perform necessary activities, such as swiping a credit card or unlocking a door with a key.

“We want to allow individuals who struggle with hand-related mobility to feel and be more independent in accomplishing routine actions,” said Shruthi Suresh, a Ph.D. candidate in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and a developer of the technology. “Our award has motivated the team to continue developing our technology and our business model.”

This technology was developed by Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering students -- Suresh, graduate student Shanmugan Muruga, sophomore Connor Hage and junior Brett English -- and multidisciplinary engineering senior Camilla Marrero Torres and can be customized to each individual user.

“The competition encouraged us to think about our technology from a different perspective and understand market size, user need and business models,” Suresh said. “We hope to participate in several other competitions to build awareness for WristSense and literally put it into the hands of the people.”

Other winners were: One-Man Band, first place; and STEMiO.org, third place.

Source: Research Foundation News