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MSIM students present first semester sprints

On October 23, students in the M.S. in Innovation & Management program presented their first semester Innovation Sprint pitches to a panel of industry experts and academics. Following the interactive pitches, mentors met with each team individually to provide valuable feedback and guidance.

The mentors included Tufts faculty, as well as industry leaders including: Renae Geraci, Research Manager for Design and Creation Products Group at Autodesk, Todd Fry, public speaking and leadership coach, Mark Martin, Principal at Forward Pivot & Tufts School of Engineering Board of Advisors, and Fady Saad, Co-Founder of MassRobotics.

These pitches represented the midway point of the semester – teams will continue to improve and evolve their venture until the final presentation in December. Many of the ventures feature collaborative partnerships between MSIM students and Tufts researchers who have developed innovative technology.

Team-based Innovation Sprints occur each semester, giving MSIM students the chance to experience the full cycle of innovation. They learn how to create compelling solutions with scalable business models, as well as develop leadership skills to persuade, negotiate, and lead others towards the goal of driving impact.


Anastasia Budinskaya, Chad Goldberg, Divya Joseph, Alfred Naayem
Sterilyse is a humane solution to animal castration. Instead of costly and intrusive surgeries, it uses an injection of a lipid nanoparticle, a delivery system developed by Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and the School of Engineering.

“Our injection takes only seconds, requiring no prep time, no training time, and no recovery period, which means there’s a reduction in costs to you and to the vet.”


Laura Taraboanta, Alex Christenson, Michael Geiger, Danhui Zhang
MIP is a quantitative real-time in vivo 3D image analysis system for early cancer detection.

“Later detection of cancer leads to lower survival rates. Early signs of cancer are asymptomatic and difficult to detect. With our algorithm, we’re able to see the changes in tissue and identify earlier stages of precancerous activity.”


James Aronson, Change Ge, Rodney Liao, Firas Mouasher
Vacuusafe is a new technology aimed at reducing lab contamination that relies on container caps and interfaces with standard vacuum lines that are found in every lab.

“In research laboratories, contamination results in costs, whether it be time, money, or wasted resources. This can damage the reputation of your lab, decrease the quality of research, and decrease product viability.”

Welcome Reps

Beverly Kodhek, Tyler Leong, Ottillia Ni, Jun Yoon
Welcome Reps is a nonprofit that works with low-income housing authorities to help settle refugees through the allocation of housing, positioning them for a smooth cultural transition.

“Despite being highly motivated, one of the greatest pain points new refugees face is finding reliable and sustainable housing options. We enable those refugees to not worry about housing, and to focus their concerns on assimilating to a new country, furthering their education, and advancing their employment.”


Sophia Atik, Kushant Sunkara, Amanda Wang, Yuxuan Wang
Cermontix is a noninvasive optical device that uses new infrared spectroscopy to provide critical neurological metrics using a proprietary algorithm.

“Traumatic brain injuries are extremely expensive and the monitoring procedure is invasive and stressful. We believe our device can provide a much better patient experience, and also reduce the cost to the hospital.”

Kandula Brewing Company

Nicholas Fan, Julia Novakoff, David Pyne, Bota Sakhiyeva
Kandula is developing a high-alcohol content kombucha beverage that allows people to be healthy, while enjoying their alcohol.

“We need a healthier way to drink – that’s why we decided to engineer a great tasting, healthy, high alcohol content drink. And the kombucha market is on the rise.”


Nadia Ferrer, Nico Pollack, Chunting Song, Ted Yuan
SensiStrain is a biometric platform that analyzes and monitors a horse’s performance, targeting the fetlock joint, which is the location of most athletic horses’ injuries. It uses smart threads, a novel technology developed at Tufts.

“We’re offering a way to essentially connect a horse with their owners, trainers, and vets through biometric, accurate, quantitative data analysis. We want to have the ability to prevent injury and make sure during rehabilitation, you don’t take any steps back.”


Lulu Li, Jake Lombardo, Robert Treiber, Konstantinos Tzortzakis, Jianquan Wang
HeroPatch uses microneedle technology developed at Tufts to provide a localized, reliable, and ready-to-use pain relief method.

“Today, the medical market for opioids and pain relief often causes the users harm to their liver, gastrointestine, and kidneys, while topical ointments and patches are inconsistent and ineffective. Our patch allows the medicine to get into your pores quicker and more efficiently.”