SU Student Startup MedUX Selected for Medical Device Innovation Challenge Accelerator Program

head shot of Quinn King and Alec Gillinder
Quinn King and Alec Gillinder

SU student startup MedUX was one of six teams selected for the prestigious CNY Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) 2019 Medical Device Innovation Challenge (MDIC), an intensive 6-month mentorship accelerator program that starts August 1, 2019.  MedUX was founded by Alec Gillinder ’20 (College of Visual and Performing Arts) and Quinn King ’20 (College of Visual and Performing Arts), both industrial and interaction design majors who conceived of the idea at last summer’s Invent@SU program. They participated in the CNYBAC bootcamp program last fall and are working closely with the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at SU Libraries to commercialize the device.

Upstate Medical University’s CNYBAC is a 52,300 square foot facility located in an Opportunity Zone in Syracuse, providing startups with state-of-the-art laboratory space, access to their facilities and research expertise, and a vibrant and robust innovation ecosystem. Teams selected for the program can utilize the CNYBAC’s Creation Garage, which includes use of 3D printer and other supplies and equipment, and will have access to a mentor network that includes industry experts and funders. MDIC teams also have access to the Innovation Law Center at Syracuse University College of Law for intellectual property and commercialization guidance. Additionally, teams are invited to apply to student engineering capstone programs at Syracuse University and Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario.  They are supported by Upstate Medical University clinical experts, and a pitch event is held at the conclusion of the 6-month program.

The six 2019 Medical Device Innovation Challenge teams are:

  • MedUX
  • ZephyRx
  • Halamine, Inc.
  • Megan Thomas
  • CathBuddy, Inc.
  • Revitalx

MedUX is a medical product design and research firm creating innovative solutions for inpatient, at home, and mobile care.  Its first product is L-IV (Liberating Intravenous), a shoulder mounted portable IV system that allows people in hospital, infusion center, or home settings, or in military or disaster situations, to receive IV treatment comfortably and efficiently without being tethered to an IV pole.

Alec and Quinn won second place nationally in the prestigious ACC InVenture Prize competition earlier this spring at North Carolina State University.  They also won prizes at several other SU competitions, including top prize at this year’s Panasci Business Plan Competition and prizes at ‘Cuse Tank, Impact Prize, and the RvD iPrize competitions.

The team has built a prototype, raised seed funding, won $57,000 in campus competitions, assembled an advisory team of industry, medical and product development experts, filed two provisional patents, and developed strategic relationships with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consultants and commercialization partners who are ready to help take the product to market. Gillinder and King are now seeking mission-driven investors to help them through the FDA Class I approval process, usability testing, and production.

The CNYBAC has a strong connection to Syracuse University.  This is the second year an SU student startup was selected for the competitive MDIC accelerator program.  In-Spire (2018 cohort) and MedUX (2019 cohort) are both active members of the Syracuse University Blackstone LaunchPad, won numerous campus competitions as students, and advanced to the ACC InVenture Prize finals.  Last year, In-Spire, founded by Kayla Simon ’19 (College of Engineering and Computer Science) and Elizabeth Tarangelo ’19 (College of Engineering and Computer Science), won the top prize at the MDIC demo day for their invention.

For more information about the CNYBAC, visit https://www.cnybac.com/.

About the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries:

The Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the entire University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global network that provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors and creators. The program serves faculty, staff, students, and alumni across disciplines who are interested in venture creation and taking ideas for products, services or technologies from concept to commercialization. The program prepares participants to be trailblazers in an entrepreneurial world.


Syracuse University Team Captures Second Place at Prestigious ACC InVenture Prize Competition

Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad participants Quinn King and Alec Gillinder won second place at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s (ACC) InVenture Prize Competition held April 16 – 18 at North Carolina State, Raleigh. King (VPA, ‘20) and Gillinder (VPA, ‘20) competed in a head-to-head, “Shark-Tank” style battle for “top inventor” in the ACC conference. As second place winners, they received a $10,000 prize. The final round of the competition was televised and broadcast by a number of Public Broadcasting stations across the Northeast region.

Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad team who competed in ACC InVenture Prize Competition. Quinn King (VPA, ‘20) and Alec Gillinder (VPA, ‘20) College of Visual and Performing Arts, School of Design students received second place and a $10,000 prize.

The two VPA School of Design students’ team, MedUX, created a wearable product that is a portable solution to traditional intravenous (IV) medical treatments. It allows patients to abandon the traditional IV pole for a more portable solution.  Their invention, L-IV, which they’ve dubbed a “liberating intravenous” product, uses both gravity-fed and pressure infusion methods to allow infusion patients to remain mobile and active while receiving treatment.

Developed at Invent@SU, a collaboration between the College of Engineering & Computer Science (ECS) and the College of Visual & Performing Arts (VPA), the product is being refined and commercialized with assistance from the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries.  The team has filed two provisional patents and is now filing a non-provisional patent to fully protect their invention, while they work with a team of expert industry advisors and strategic partners to bring their product to market.

The MedUX students built a team of professional regional advisors that included: Kathi Durdon, executive director, CNY Biotech Accelerator, SUNY Upstate Medical University; Winthrop (Win) Thurlow, executive director, MedTech Association; Kathryn Ruscitto, consultant and retired President and CEO, St, Joseph’s Health; Chris Horacek, principal, ICIP Consulting, LLC and former vice president and deputy general counsel, Welch Allyn; Cynthia Dowd Greene, retired executive, Quadrant Biosciences; and Dr. Robert A. Dracker, founder of Infusacare.

The team was also closely mentored by Blackstone LaunchPad executive director Linda Dickerson Hartsock and by ECS and VPA faculty, as well as Syracuse University innovation partners including:  SU alumnus Gianfranco Zaccai, co-founder, president and chief design officer at EPAM Continuum; LaunchPad Syracuse Entrepreneurs in Residence Dennis Taussig, CEO of Taussig + Associates, and Tom Nerviano, managing partner of Smart Vines Consulting and former HR Director of Unilever. The Blackstone LaunchPad coordinated the campus qualifier and also mentored and coached the teams that competed for the coveted title of top ACC inventor.  The Syracuse campus competition is supported by the Syracuse University Provost’s Office.

“The entire Syracuse University campus is proud of the MedUx’ team. This is an exceptional example of how Syracuse University Libraries’ Blackstone LaunchPad is partnering across campus to create innovative solutions through collaborative opportunities,” said David Seaman, Dean of Libraries and University Librarian.

The ACC InVenture Prize Competition is a collaborative effort by institutional leadership from the ACC and represents an opportunity to stimulate undergraduate entrepreneurial activity and increase student-faculty engagement, celebrate and highlight the exceptional creativity and ingenuity of students, and inspire a greater sense of camaraderie across the conference. Teams representing each ACC university were given the opportunity to pitch their inventions or businesses before a live audience and panel of judges and competing for $30,000 in prizes and a chance to be the next winner. Fifteen university teams pitched during the preliminary round on April 16th, and five finalists were chosen to advance to the final round on April 17th. King and Gillinder were selected to participate in a final round against DeLive (Notre Dame), Ethos Medical (Georgia Tech), InnoHealth Diagnostics (FSU), and MIST (UVA).

In the four-year old competition, this is the second time a Syracuse University team has made it to the final five ACC InVenture Prize Competition. Kate Beckman ’17, G’18 (Newhouse), founder of FreshU, made it to the final five in 2017.

About the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University Libraries:

The Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library is Syracuse University’s innovation hub, connecting the entire University’s resource-rich ecosystem with a global network that provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs, inventors and creators. The program serves faculty, staff, students, and alumni across disciplines who are interested in venture creation and taking ideas for products, services or technologies from concept to commercialization. The program prepares participants to be trailblazers in an entrepreneurial world.