The University of New Hampshire I-Corps Site program trains two cohorts a year on the basics of the Lean Startup methodology and customer discovery. The program is open to UNH faculty, staff, and students and past teams have investigated ideas that ranged from a choreography analysis computer program to an aqueous, molecularly imprinted polymer and everything inbetween. If you have an idea you would like to investigate during the next I-Corps cohort, please fill out the online application.
Spring 2019 Cohort
New Hampshire outranks many states in educational achievement measures, but the state’s science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science (STEM) talent pipeline narrows early and relentlessly. Workforce demand is strong for STEM skills and jobs in New Hampshire, particularly in computer systems, engineering and advanced manufacturing, but NH’s K12 science and math participation and achievement is not strong enough to supply future workforce demand. (NHCF, 2014)
In order to meet the critical need of highly qualified STEM workers in New Hampshire, UNH needs to provide a strategic, intentional and visionary approach on how to help meet the STEM K-20 needs of educators, students, and K-12 school districts across the state. Various initiatives and programs across campuses are doing excellent work in preK-12 STEM education and outreach (E/O). However, these separate entities need an allied approach working toward a common vision of transforming the K-12 classrooms in order to meet the workforce demands of New Hampshire and to position the university as the leading resource for STEM education in the state.
Beginning in the fall of 2018, an internal UNH group has come together to work toward a cohesive statewide UNH preK-12 STEM resource that consists of all UNH K-12 STEM programs that service youth and teachers, K-20 STEM education scholarship, and avenues to partner with K-12 school districts. Informed by all UNH STEM E/O providers, this group will define common goals and metrics for STEM Education and Outreach providers across campus. However, an external comprehensive needs analysis will truly define and streamline UNH STEM E/O as a brand. Fully informed by stakeholders, this common vision, goals, and metrics will form the path for UNH to take its rightful place as the state’s leader in preK-20 STEM education and preparation.
This project looks at the feasibility of substituting local species [for white oak] in crafting casks for the local-regional beer, hard cider, wine, and spirits market in New Hampshire.
The barrel market reflects a traditional wine and whisky industry. Casks are traditionally crafted from white oak, but they do not have to be. The goal of this effort is to use a historically low value species to produce high value casks and use local wood to meet local-regional cask demand.
Currently, there are a couple small hobby or craft cooperages in the northeast, but nothing servicing the wine-beer-cider-distillery market in a meaningful way. There is a barrel broker in Maine, a small scale Vermont Cooperage, and some breweries will truck used barrels from the south or lakes states.
The following process has been identified for the project –
• Work with UNH Brewery to identify flavor profiles for the following species (soft maple, beech, poplar, yellow birch, white pine) using a light “base” beer, i.e. figure out what is drinkable and what might lend itself to different styles. (fall-spring, 2018)
• Secure modest grant ≈$1500 for barrel production. (spring 2019)
• Get barrel produced through Ron Raiselis, Master Cooper at Strawberry Bank (spring 2019)
• Roll out to some commercial breweries, cider producers, etc. to pilot with public (1 cider producer and 1 brewery both committed and excited to work with barrels of local species; lots of additional interest).
A central thesis of the project is that it is important for our local beverage industry to market “local.”
This idea leverages advancements in next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics to demonstrate “proof of concept” by developing a prototype fish DNA technology (FDAT). The key innovation of the proposed technology is that it will contain many robust and novel species-specific markers integrated into a single assay. The resulting diagnostic test can be used with a number of high-throughput platforms. Our project will initially focus on the more commonly substituted groundfish species (i.e., Atlantic cod, Gadus morhua, pollock, Gadus chalcogrammus, Pollachius spp. and haddock, Melanogrammus aeglefinus). The goal is to build capacity specified by the UNH 2020 Strategic Plan to deepen research, commercialization and innovation. This project also builds on UNH’s strengths in fisheries research through the School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering and forges an important connection to public health research and policy.
The team has just successfully competed in the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE challenge. We developed an innovative new concept for ocean mapping and want to ensure that we capture our success and build on the skills learnt. We would like to create a sustainable organization to keep the momentum going and engage alumni and utilize this alumni network effectively.
I would like to develop a biosensor for measuring brain chemicals continuously in vivo for clinical and research applications.
We are developing a technology to encapsulate cardiomyocytes in an injectable hydrogel, in which the cardiomyocytes maintain high viability and cell-cell connections for the synchronous contraction.
A dating app that integrates wearable technology and location tracking to mitigate dating sexual violence.
MDRemindME is a patient engagement software meant for medical practices. We provide medical practices with an easy way to increase compliance among their patients by letting them send SMS text reminders. These reminder will help patients stay on track with their treatment making them happier and healthier.
NetSecOpen is a network security industry group that provides guidelines and best practices for testing modern network security infrastructure including Firewall, IPS, NGFW and Threat Detection solutions and services” (This directly from their site). This is an emerging service for the future of network security testing that we would like to be a part of.
My type of work rarely commercialized. I do research in addiction and I develop novel preclinical models to study addiction and to develop individualized treatment strategies.
SIMAP (Sustainability Indicator Management and Analysis Platform; unhsimap.org) is a web-based sustainability tool that helps campuses calculate, track, and reduce their carbon and nitrogen footprints. Since its launch in November 2017 from the UNH Sustainability Institute, SIMAP has attracted over 500 colleges and universities to make official accounts to track their footprints. SIMAP is the integration of two stand-alone spreadsheet tools that were available free of charge.
It is clear that there is a market for SIMAP. Over 300 users have signed up for a paid account, and annual renewals are strong. However, the income to date has not yet been sufficient to cover costs (e.g., web development, user support, staff time). We would like to participate in UNH I-Corps to help us navigate two parts to the next phase of SIMAP’s development.
First, we strive to ensure that SIMAP has a sustainable business model. We have considered several pathways, such as continued ownership by the UNH Sustainability Institute, developing a public-private partnership with an existing or even a new entity created for the purpose, or even selling to external entity. In the UNH I-Corps process, we would like to learn more about what options we have, what they entail, and how to identify the best pathway for SIMAP’s future.
Second, we want to explore potential additional markets for expansion. To date, SIMAP has focused on one key market: campuses of higher education. We believe it may be strategic to expand to other market sectors, and we are particularly interested in the feasibility and benefits of targeting businesses and cities. We would like to use the UNH I-Corps process to identify, prioritize, advertise and, if it is deemed realistic, begin to establish ourselves within such these markets.
This project deals with an advancement in structural element performance tracking during fabrication, transport, construction and service conditions. A reliable structural performance tracking system will be prototyped, tested, and developed using a combination of radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags and low-power sensor communications that are based on commercially available off-the-shelve components. Sensor data will allow the collection of structural response histories (e.g., strain data) useful to perform fatigue assessment and structural integrity evaluations. The proposed structural performance tracking system will be based on passive RFID tags that could serve as a database management of structural element data, including location, manufacturing history, quality control information, and maintenance records. A low-power operation strain gauge and cellular communications will be used to collect strain histories that are linked to specific structural element information in the database via the RFID tags (see Figure 1). The development of such system will require the participation and collaboration of all academic and industrial parties involved. Parties possess complementary expertise related to structural design, structural testing, steel fabrication, structural health monitoring, bridge construction, commercialization, market demand, user needs, sensors, and structural performance tracking software and applications.
Quick deploy emergency network designed to save lives by connecting people to emergency crews after a disaster has occurred
Spring 2018 Cohort
Developing electrode materials for aqueous energy storage.
UNH offers a family boat building experience, where families spend one weekend at UNH to build their own 12’ sailboat. The program has been successfully run for 13 years, with 66 families having built sailboats and received sailing instruction. The team is exploring commercialization opportunities, which could include a boat building kit, an entire boat building program, or some combination.
Through the NH Sea Grant program, UNH has piloted the cultivation of land-based shrimp Bio-floc Technology (BFT) and are interested in transferring the knowledge fishermen, including the Yankee Fishermen’s Cooperative, to allow them to diversify from wild capture fisheries.
ecoText is an electronic main-stream distribution platform service revolutionizing how college students obtain, manage and interact with their textbooks. ecoText acts as a bridge between universities, publishers and students. ecoText combats the rising costs of textbooks, alleviates environmental destruction, encourages publishers to produce high quality textbooks and keeps professors connected to their students.
Development of a graphic novel, which may or may not have an electronic format, that creatively addresses issues of personal stress/anxiety perception and the building of strength-based capacities in older teens through emerging adulthood----college targeted age groups. Across the nation, higher education is seeing a rise in percentages of students who access mental health services, and for whom stress/anxiety is expressed as a major barrier to academic success. Our project is designed to offer up an innovative product that has potential marketability, by a diverse group of us with expertise that spans human stress/mental health topics through the arts and humanities.
Andrew DeMeo is a recent UNH graduate in sustainability. During fall 2017, under the mentorship of Ian Grant, he was awarded first place in the student track of theSocial Venture Innovation Challenge. Soon after, Andrew’s idea for a sustainable beekeeping cooperative morphed into Half Acre Beekeeping-- a CSA style business selling hive sponsorships to local consumers on the NH seacoast. He plans to launch the business in spring 2018 with his partner Jessica Waters.
Testing Services for the Open Compute Project Open Rack community.
UNH has developed an integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) raft that can produce 7 ton of steelhead trout, blue mussels, and sugar kelp in a productive food ecosystem that has little to no nutrient impacts on the coastal ecosystems. UNH is now interested in developing a responsible aquaculture production module for fishermen or farmers seeking to diversify their businesses where fishing alone may not be profitable enough.
A computer program to analyze and calculate dance steps and the elements of dance in choreographies. The program could be delivered as an app and used by a choreographer to develop new choreographies, whether they are looking for a time-saving device or a mechanism to develop routines that stand apart from their “signature” choreographies.
Student-centered web-application with Ruby on Rails and Python, allowing students to graphically display their potential weekly schedules based upon courses, preferences and personal time commitments.
Fall 2017 Cohort
Development of enhanced condensation based atmospheric water generation technology for small-scale applications in agriculture.
PowerPlay helps professional organizations improve their work environment by facilitating dialogues about interpersonal behavior. Starts conversations about often-ignored human dynamics that can affect and diminish workplace performance.
Our family of patents and provisional patents are based on signal detection and signal de-noising. One application of these technologies would be to detect underutilized wireless spectrum so that secondary users can use the resource. Another application is to reduce noise from signals to improve another system or process.
New social messaging service combining location services and augmented reality to put users’ posts in the real world. Using map-interface, users can select any location, leave a message, activity, image, or gift drop, and send it to any of their friends.
Due to sea-level rise, farmers in Bangladesh are shifting from rice cultivation to shrimp aquaculture and are facing limited market and livelihood insecurity, exploitation at the hands of irresponsible businesses, fragmented and inefficient supply chain, and insufficient attention to building climate resilience. To create a social enterprise that will ensure livelihood security and free market access to these farmers in order to achieve climate resilience.
Pathlete is an athletic recruitment platform that allows athletes and coaches to connect, track sports statistics, view competition, and gain athletic exposure. The goal of the platform is to enhance the process of athletic recruitment, while leveling the playing field of recruitment opportunity across the world. Pathlete is nearing the market deployment phase and would therefore greatly benefit from the expertise offered by the I-Corps program. Our hope is to find a I-Corps industry mentor who possesses the knowledge to extend valuable counsel in the upcoming transition phase. Pathlete believes in the dream that many young men and women around the world wish to pursue: a chance to compete athletically at the collegiate level and beyond. We believe in that desire,but more importantly we believe in that opportunity. Our product hopes to solve the problems of the recruitment industry, and our success is highly dependent on our ability to meet those needs.
Stewardship Network New England connects volunteers with environment volunteer opportunities throughout New England; SNNE will be exploring a re-branding opportunity and the financial model that will support partnerships with other volunteer organizations.
An essential part of hydraulic fracturing operations are vapor recovery systems, constant release of methane into the atmosphere to maintain constant pressure while extracting oil/gas. Using a bioreactor, Cradled Systems serves as an alternative to these vapor recovery systems, providing value for the wasted resource.
Evaluate the opportunity to expand the UIC services beyond a limited number of external clients and actively promote UIC as a service provider for analytical testing or instrumentation access.
Providing High Performance Computing (HPC) services for corporate applications.
The BitPhyer Ethernet test tool is an FPGA based hardware platform with software designed to send arbitrary bit patterns that are relevant for determining the conformance of Ethernet products. The goal is to use the I-Corps process to develop a business model for its commercialization and to adapt the system to fit customer needs as identified by the customers.
Spring 2017 Cohort
Evaluating opportunities for a plug-and-play sensor platform with range of up to 15 miles.
Developing a software and hardware “hand tracker” technology to empower office ergonomics by helping adopt safe postures, scheduling breaks, and/or adapting work stations.
This project focused on large scale test automation and results handling for DSL technology testing.
Under the working title "Kid Bubble," our concept is that of an interactive game to be installed on the computers of elementary schools and explored by students of all ages. The game will include lessons on healthy relationships, personal space, and respect for the boundaries of others. It will be marketed toward elementary schools to normalize conversations about personal body safety, while discussing it in a context entirely separate from sexual assault prevention. The game will convey both present and future benefits as learning about personal space and boundaries not only helps children develop healthier relationships in elementary school, it also has the long-term benefit of helping to prevent possible sexual assault later in life by teaching kids positive relationship skills and interactions. This educational game will be different from existing games in that it will be directed at a younger audience, reaching kids as young as five years old, and will focus more on what to do versus what not to do (for example, "do respect others requests when it comes to their "bubble" of personal space" as opposed to "do not touch other people without their consent").
Secure-cloud network service provider for First Responder Agencies to bring to market the first cost-effective regulatory compliant private-cloud based data backup and archive online secure repository service for First Responder Agencies.
uSafeUS is research-based mobile app that will help reduce the incidence and trauma of campus sexual violence by empowering sexual assault victims, their allies, including friends, family members, campus faculty and staff, to quickly access campus and community resources that help raise awareness and improves response to campus sexual assault.
Fall 2016 Cohort
Connecting school districts and educational organizations with high quality consultants.
HuTT® is a helmetless tackling program for football. The only evidence-based program in the US, HuTT has been demonstrated by the UNH football team to reduce head impacts as part of an NFL grant-funded study. Players enrolled in HuTT also showed improvements in tackling performance. The program is suitable for high school, collegiate, and professional football programs. Additional information can be found at: http://huttprogram.com/
The innovation establishes a business model to translate hydrographic research software into commercially attractive products, while also making end products available for the research community to build upon as they develop new research software.
This innovation is an aqueous, molecularly imprinted polymer. Protein-like crosslinking of the polymer forms binding sites that are capable of rapid nanomolar sensing. The polymer is capable of replacing antibodies for medical diagnostic purposes along with numerous other applications.
The innovation is a method of using NMR to analyze deuterium oxide as an indicator of body composition for calves. Previously, cattle had to be slaughtered in order for water, protein, fat and ash content to be measured. The NMR-based procedure involves taking a routine plasma sample and using NMR analysis to analyze total body water, an indicator for overall body composition. The procedure has been validated via a complementary analytical technique in a commercial lab and requires only nine minutes per sample analysis.
RAIDX is a patent-pending technology which combines different size and speed disk drives into a single redundant array. RAIDX makes the most use of the faster disks: http://raidxstorage.bandilabs.com/
UNHCEMS is an online chemical inventory system for chemical owners, laboratory associates, students, and emergency responders. Developed in a joint project by the University of New Hampshire Office of Environmental Health and Safety and the Research Computing Center, UNHCEMS® is now licensed out to 30 institutions across the U.S., with an expanding client base.