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.
Funded in part by a unique statewide initiative – the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN) – Zhu’s team is working to develop advanced materials that will improve a battery’s cyclability (the number of times a battery can be recharged) and increase battery storage density (the length of time a battery can go before needing to be charged). Expanding the time between charges also improves a battery’s overall life.
Dr. George Chase was named president of the University of Akron Research Foundation at its Oct. 26 board meeting. Founded in 2001, the foundation promotes and supports the development and commercialization of UA discoveries and inventions. Chase, who joined the College of Engineering in 1985, is a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. In August, he was named director of STEM research. Chase earned both a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in chemical engineering here.