Microvitality team photo

Putting Innovation to Work: Get to Know Microvitality

Innovation Sprint team Microvitality is working to bring a game-changing 3D-printed microbiome sampling capsule to market.

By Akshita Jain, MSIM '24

At the heart of Tufts Gordon Institute’s MS in Innovation & Management (MSIM) program are Innovation Sprints. These fast-paced, immersive team ventures ask students to identify key problems, prototype solutions, and synthesize business and financial models that scale. While Sprints are a key component of the MSIM curriculum, they are also real business ventures that students can take on the competition circuit, seek funding for, and continue working on even after graduation.

Microvitality, comprised of MSIM students Julian Finney, Haobin Li, Sofia Paschenti, and Zoe Watson, is working in collaboration with Tufts University researchers Dr. Sameer Sonkusale and Dr. Ruben Del Rio Ruiz to bring a game-changing 3D-printed microbiome sampling capsule to market. This innovative technology promises to revolutionize healthcare by offering a non-invasive solution for sampling the microbiome, particularly beneficial for individuals with gastrointestinal issues.

"When I learned about this technology being researched at Tufts, I immediately thought of my best friend who struggles with GI issues,” shared Sofia when asked what inspired her to work on Microvitality. “When I spoke to her about this technology, she was overwhelmingly supportive and enthusiastic about its potential to help solve her problems.”

Despite the passion of Microvitality’s team members and the innovative potential of their product, their path forward has not been without challenges, such as navigating the complexities of the B2B landscape with minimal specialised industry experience. “Despite the challenges and steep learning curve, we are determined to see our venture through," affirms Zoe. "We've sought mentorship and leveraged classroom lessons in financial management to help us navigate legal processes and industry dynamics." 

Jules added that the finance classes in the MS in Innovation & Management program helped bolster the team’s understanding of the accounting side of business. That knowledge assisted the team in estimating their expenses and laying out key financial details that are essential when pitching to potential investors.

Buoyed by the encouraging feedback from potential end-users, Microvitality has set ambitious goals for their venture and Innovation Sprint. Their roadmap includes securing funding, applying to venture accelerators, and ultimately obtaining FDA approval—a crucial milestone in the journey towards commercialization. The team is committed to make an impact in the realm of biotech innovation and improve the future of healthcare.

Microvitality recently won first place in the Healthcare & Life Science track of the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition, hosted by the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts.

To learn more about Innovation Sprints, click here.