By Dan Shingler
Akron's got another software startup that appears to be gaining traction, although treading water — in a good way — might be a better way to put it.
Fontus Blue, which moved into the downtown Bounce Innovation Hub in June, doesn't make the sort of app most people will ever use, though millions may taste its results.
The company's offering, Decision Blue, is a subscription-based software as-a-service product that helps water-treatment plants address issues and produce water that consistently exceeds testing requirements by providing treatment formulas and regimens based on real-time modeling.
Faculty researchers in The University of Akron’s (UA) College of Engineering – now in its 106th year – earned $10.9 million in research grant funding in the 2018 calendar year.
The grants were awarded by diverse government entities, industry partners and foundations for projects ranging from improving cancer treatment to making it safer to drive America’s roadways.
“UA’s College of Engineering is home to world-class faculty conducting cutting-edge and transformative research that cuts across all sectors: manufacturing, automotive, environmental, transportation, biomedical, structural, chemical and more,” said Craig Menzemer, Ph.D., interim dean of the College. “I’m proud of the pioneering research my colleagues have devoted themselves to, which is a testament to the College of Engineering’s strong reputation as the premier engineering school in Northeast Ohio. Our faculty’s research will have an enormous impact on the way we live and work. All of this is happening right here, at The University of Akron.”
By Sue Walton, Crain's Cleveland
After years of laying the groundwork, a local startup has launched its first products to consumers, hoping buyers will help company officials figure out where its work will best stick.
Akron Ascent Innovations (AAI), which Crain's first profiled two years ago, last month launched sales of its ShearGrip-brand fiber-based, dry-adhesive products online.
The products, which for now include repositionable bulletin boards, sticky-note paper and photo paper, among other things, are born from technology that uses electrospun nanofibers to create a super-strong dry adhesive. The fibers have a small enough diameter to grab surfaces to hold on tight, but can still peel away without damaging surfaces, the company says.
By UA Online Newsroom
Former Biomimicry Fellows Dr. Emily Kennedy and Dr. Bor-Kai (Bill) Hsiungsuccessfully completed the prototyping and testing of a hedgehog-inspired impact protection technology, using funding provided by the University of Akron Research Foundation’s Spark Fund. This marks the successful completion of the second of six projects funded by the Spark Fund, starting in 2017. Kennedy and Hsiung also collaborated with Dr. K.T. Tan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Nathan Swift, recent Case Western Reserve University graduate; and Douglas Paige, an industrial design professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art.
Every patient dreads the pain of removing an adhesive bandage. Soon, “ripping off the bandage” to avoid pain could be a thing of the past.
Spark Fund was created to provide resources and support to develop the proof needed to transform UA technology into a validated prototype that can be licensed to a scalable startup company. In 2017, Spark Fund committed $450,000 in UARF and State of Ohio funding to five projects, all of which are to be completed by the end of 2018.
By UA Online Newsroom
The definition of hacking today is much different than 1990s Hollywood movies would lead us to believe. What was once known as an illegal means of gaining access to highly secure websites and databases has now evolved into ways to swiftly and skillfully create real and usable applications – known as “hacks.”
About 150 of the best and brightest students from universities around Ohio, surrounding states and Canada made The University of Akron’s C. Blake McDowell Law Center their home for 24 hours, beginning on Oct. 6, for HAkron 3000, a student-run hackathon that merged engineering and computer science. Teams designed innovative solutions to real-world problems, and learned new skills.
By: Lisa Craig, University of Akron Media Relations
The University of Akron is listed in a new report, Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2017. UA is ranked 60th with 43 patents, and is the top ranking public university in Ohio. The rankings, compiled by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), were based on data obtained from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
“Our faculty are innovative and produce quality intellectual property — we are pleased to receive this recognition,” said Dr. George Chase, president of The University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) and our director of STEM research. “Past and current administrations should be credited with fostering an environment that supports and encourages creative research.” Patents take on average five to six years to issue from the date of filing.
By: Elyse Ball
Sitting at the intersection of Northeast Ohio's research universities and startup scene, my University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) colleagues and I often see startup ideas in their earliest stages. Last fall, after having met with dozens of entrepreneurs who were working on napkin ideas or sharing their startup aspirations for the first time, we finally decided it was time to take action to assist entrepreneurs that aren't quite ready for the region's incubator and accelerator programs. The result - the Starting Line Pre-Acccelerator - aims to help beginner entrepreneurs develop their business concept into a full-fledged startup. Through a 10-step process, entrepreneurs craft a business model, interview customers, sketch out their prototype concept, and construct their first startup pitch. Starting Line comprises mainly online, "at-your-own-pace" activities, ranging from completing a business model canvas and interviewing customers to listening to podcasts and TEDtalks about entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurs also get the chance to have one-on-one meetings with Dan Hampu and I to guide them through the process. If you are or know of an entrepreneur that would benefit from Starting Line, let us know or check out uakronuarf.com/step1.
Courtesy of UA Email Digest
Imagine that you would like to start a business. You have high hopes for your product and the positive impact you know it can make on Northeast Ohio. You need startup funds, so you approach … students? On Wednesday, Feb. 14, several UA students will hear pitches from hopeful entrepreneurs for funding through the Northeast Ohio Student Venture Fund (NEOSVF) Deal Flow Event at Quaker Station, on campus.