From virtual restaurant menus to cardiovascular health tools, the student startups in the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s iVenture Accelerator this summer are tackling problems in tech-forward ways across a range of industries.
The accelerator has 13 startups in it this year, encompassing 45 students, the largest cohort the program has had since its inception in 2015.
The 10-week program, which began in May, is culminating this week in two demo days—one for the college’s community and one for the Chicago tech community at large. The campus demo day took place on Monday and the Chicago one takes place Thursday at Avant.
During the demo days, the students pitch their startups in hopes of raising capital. Students in last year’s cohort raised about $3 million, according to Sarah Brincks, a spokesperson for UIUC.
Throughout the course of the accelerator, student entrepreneurs received resources and guidance on how to build a product and form a sustainable business plan. Mentors and coaches from the tech ecosystem visited the accelerator to lead workshops on topics like intellectual property laws, patents and negotiations. Additionally, coaches from various backgrounds hold office hours to advise and answer questions from the students.
Below are the 13 startups in the iVenture Accelerator’s 2018 cohort.
Nouvo makes smart pacifiers that can detect acid reflux in babies. Data collected from the pacifiers can be sent to parents’ mobile devices, where they can monitor symptoms and help physicians understand their child’s condition.
DisplayOne sells display products that showcase and protect prized possessions. Their first product, ShoeBoxOne, is a clear acrylic glass case designed for sneakers that has a mirror backing, beveled door and LED lights.
Earnest Earth partners with small farms to produce sustainable fertilizer solutions.
GrayMatters combats incidents of undiagnosed concussions in athletes with its affordable and fashionable product that indicates when the wearer has suffered a concussion.
HexNest makes safer, more affordable sports mats to ensure schools and private clubs have access to updated and effective safety equipment for sports like gymnastics and wrestling.
Menu3 makes augmented reality restaurant menus to simplify users’ food purchasing decisions. Their app shows users pictures, video and 3D models of the food they’re about to order.
Octane Technologies makes a mobile app that connects car enthusiasts with car-related events and businesses in their community.
PhantomCor develops a physical and functional cardiac model that can be used to simulate various heart pathologies for use in education, research and diagnostics.
Red Clover Reader is an ed-tech startup that connects parents to self-published and independent authors of children’s books, who are producing culturally diverse literature.
RingWing makes an indoor catchable glider for children that helps teaches them how to catch. The toy is patent-pending and the first orders of it shipped to buyers in March.
Vitrix Health creates affordable and simple medical screening solutions for deadly diseases, like oral cancer.
You Matter Studios is a media production company that produces VR films around social issues that aim to build a more inclusive society. Their films are designed for companies and organizations that want to dervsify their staffs and foster more inclusive workplace cultures.