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During their Innovation Sprint in the M.S. in Innovation & Management program, four students developed OnGuard, a wearable concussion warning system that provides instant impact alerting, data tracking, and analysis to coaches, trainers, and athletes. Last April, the team competed as finalists in the annual Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition and placed second in the Healthcare / Life Science Track. Team member Paget Stanco, MSIM ’17, recently participated in the California Roadshow with the Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies Program, where Tufts entrepreneurs traveled to the West Coast to meet with partners from venture capital firms, as well as angel investors, and dozens of Tufts alumni/ae.

The Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies Program recently caught up with Stanco to learn more about what has been happening since the competition.

1) What kind of traction has OnGuard had since the 100K Competition last year? What are your current goals?

OnGuard has had great traction since the 100K Competition last spring. We have transformed our original idea and proceeded through several iterations of our product. We’ve met incredible researchers and doctors working in the concussion space who have had a major influence on our work. We just got back from the California Road Show and are planning to incorporate the great feedback we received during the very busy year we have planned ahead!

2) What has been your biggest challenge so far? What has been your most insightful failure?
 
The pace at which progress happens. When engineering a product and software, it is very challenging to accept the time it takes to iterate through prototypes, file patents, and build a strong team and not get frustrated.

3) Have you faced any unexpected bumps in the road that you wish you had known earlier?

I’ve had the incredible opportunity of receiving mentorship from many of the professors at the Gordon Institute. This helped me avoid some of the more common bumps along the road.

4) What are the major trends and opportunities in the Sports Medicine industry that you are most excited about?

The Sports Medicine industry is a very popular industry at the moment. There is great research being done and I am very excited to see what comes from it in the future. I am most excited by the shift towards personalized medicine.

5) What is one piece of advice you have for Tufts students who are interested in or are starting their venture now?
 
Go for it! I know it sounds cheesy but you seriously don’t know how capable you are unless you try.

Always ask why. I don’t think I would have gotten this far if I had stopped every time I received a piece of negative feedback or harsh criticism. Instead of taking everything as is, I always ask Why.