Accelerate UConn Spring 2018 Participants Announced

Dr. Mostafa Analoui, Executive Director of Venture Development and Dr. Timothy B. Folta, Professor of Management and Faculty Director of the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, are pleased to announce the teams selected to participate in the sixth cohort of Accelerate UConn, the University’s National Science Foundation I-Corps site. The following teams will receive special training and a $3,000 seed grant to help understand whether and how their technology might create customer value:

Spring 2018 Cohort

Dr. Xiuchun Tian & Elizabeth Johnson (Faculty & Graduate Student), College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, Department of Animal Science- MycoZap: Plant-derived natural compounds to effectively prevent and treat diseases by Mycoplasma bovis.

Dr. Leslie Shor, Grant Bouchillon, Chris Hawxhurst & Wallis Boyd (Faculty, Graduate Students & Undergraduate Student), School of Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering & Department of Environmental Engineering- Living Fertilizer.

Dr. Robert Aseltine, Dr. Riddhi Doshi, Wenjie Wang & Cal Collins (Faculty, PostDoc, Graduate Student & Industry), UConn Health, Division of Behavioral Sciences and Community Health, Center for Public Health and Health Policy- WellTech: Improving the Collection of Patient Information Using Mobile Health Technologies.

Dr. Bradley Wright, Elisabeth McClure, Lindsey Fecko, Samantha Tracey & Kendall Comstock (Faculty & Undergraduate Students), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department Sociology and Department of Communication- Ackme Research: Testing well-being interventions.

Dr. Arash Esmali Zaghi & Alexandra Hain (Faculty & Graduate Student), School of Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering- Arax Engineering: Hybrid building columns.

Ernesto Ortega-Hernandez, Shemona Singh & Nicole Gauer (Undergraduate Students), School of Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Department of Computer Science & School of Business, Finance Department- Mesa: Bridging the disconnect of social interactions through food sharing.

Dr. Ruth Lucas, Patrick Hocking & Amy Robinson (Faculty & Undergraduate Students- UConn), School of Nursing, School of Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering & Department of Electrical Engineering, Dr. Jimi Francis, Sarah Cowan & Shambhavi Adhikari (Faculty & Graduate Students- University of Texas at Tyler), College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Department of Health and Kinesiology- Dyadic Innovations: Breastfeeding diagnostic device.

Dr. Amit Savkar, William Moshella & Matthew Dermody (Faculty, Industry & Graduate Students), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Department of Mathematics & School of Business, Masters in Business Administration- Predictive analytics platform for student retention in STEM fields.

Dr. Mu-Ping Nieh, Armin Tahmasbi Rad & Leila Daneshmandi (Faculty & Graduate Students), School of Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering- Encapsulate: A tumor-on-a-chip device for individualized treatment.

Dr. Christine Finck, Dr. Liisa Kuhn & Todd Jensen (Faculty & Researcher), UConn Health, School of Medicine & School of Dental Medicine, Department of Pediatrics & Department of Reconstructive Sciences- Esophadex: A new esophageal device to treat esophageal injuries and strictures.

The program includes seven weeks of intensive training to evaluate their business ideas and conduct customer discovery activities.

In cases where a single faculty member or student was accepted into the program, the AU staff helped identify appropriate Academic or Entrepreneurial Leads or Industry Mentors to round out the team.

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI) jointly operate Accelerate UConn (AU).  As an NSF I-Corps Site program, AU was formed to foster entrepreneurship resulting in technology commercialization.  I-Corps Sites are academic institutions that catalyze the engagement of multiple, local teams in technology transition and strengthen local innovation.

For more information about Accelerate UConn, visit or email