Innovation Sprint Highlights | Tufts Gordon Institute
Open Menu Close Menu Open Search Close Search

Innovation in Action

Creating high-impact solutions for the real world requires more than technical expertise and creativity. That’s why the MSIM program is centered around the Innovation Sprints, which help you build core skillsets that empower sustainable innovation. 

  • Identifying Problems: Customer Discovery, Ethnographic Research, Value Propositions, Data Science
  • Creating & Validating Compelling Solutions: Lean Approach, Leveraging Emerging Technology, Design Thinking, Rapid Prototyping
  • Business Modeling: Segmentation & Forecasting, Financial Planning, Predictive Modeling
  • Driving Implementation: New Product Development, Positioning & Marketing Strategy, Marketing Technology, Leadership Skills

Case Study: Kandula Hard Kombucha

Named for the inspirational, ancient Sri Lankan war elephant involved in the country's unification, Kandula is an alcoholic kombucha beverage that provides a healthier option for social drinkers. Tapping into a popular market full of spiked seltzers and low-cal grain alcohol drinks, Kandula (initially developed last semester) instead uses the alcohol naturally found within the kombucha brewing process. In addition to providing the natural health benefits of kombucha, Kandula comes in at only 104 calories per can.

Since launch, Kandula Hard Kombucha is already on the way to market. They won a tie for first place in the 2019 Tufts’ $100k New Ventures Competition in the General/High-Tech Track, as well as received funding for startup space to continue preparing for their launch in market this summer. 

Team Members: Divya Joseph, MSIM '19; Alfred Naayem, MSIM '19; Julia Novakoff, MSIM '19; Bota Sakhiyeva, MSIM ‘19


Case Study: ZwitterCo

ZwitterCo, Inc. provides revolutionary membrane solutions for the treatment of highly-impaired wastewater based on cutting-edge zwitterionic polymer chemistry developed by Tufts Professor Ayse Asatekin. Their mission is to make the treatment and reuse of every wastewater stream economically viable.

Since launch, ZwitterCo has already seen great success and continues to grow their presence in the industry. They won first place in the 2018 Tufts’ $100k New Ventures Competition in the General/High-Tech Track.  They were chosen as one of the 7 cleantech companies to be awarded the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's Catalyst grant funding. The Catalyst funding, coupled with business mentoring, is employed to move cleantech prototype and research projects towards commercialization.

Team Members: Alex Rappaport, MSIM ‘18; Aditi Deorukhakar, MSIM ‘18; Chen Chen, MSIM ‘18

“Everybody in the MSIM program, all the faculty and all the staff, have been so supportive as we launch our venture. They have provided us more than enough resources to achieve all our goals. The program is the perfect foundation to take your venture as far as you can.”
-Alex Rappaport, MSIM ‘18, CEO/Co-Founder, ZwitterCo

To read more about the real-world success of ZwitterCo, click here.


Case Study: Co-Lab

Co-Lab uses the phone in your pocket to perform cheap, easy and rapid cell counting and analysis for a tiny fraction of the price of existing alternatives. It uses a patented visual systems-based automated cytometer for iPhone. The microscope lens adapter performs multifocal plane analysis with a specially designed disposable counting chamber that takes all the work, frustration and inaccuracy out of cell counting, for a mere $1 per sample. It employs machine learning and image enhancement to continuously improve and offer more and more applications.

Team Members: Sam Miller, MSIM '18, Sijia Hu, MSIM '18; Melek Ozturk, MSIM '18; Sagun Sanghi, MSIM '18

“If you’re a biomedical researcher, you work with cells. And anytime you work with them, you need to quantify them somehow – and unless you have $8,000 for a benchtop cytometer, you’re stuck sitting for hours counting them. What if you could point your phone through your microscope, take a picture, and let an algorithm do the rest?”
-Sam Miller, MSIM '18


Case Study: OnGuard

Over 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur in the U.S. every year, 30% of which go undiagnosed, posing a huge risk to athletes. OnGuard, created by four MSIM students, is trying address this problem head on. They developed a wearable concussion warning system using smart thread technology that provides instant impact alerting, data tracking, and analysis to coaches, trainers, and athletes. The team competed as finalists in the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition and placed second in the Healthcare / Life Science Track.

Read more about OnGuard.

“Our connection to Tufts athletics gave us a clear entry point into the market, which other ventures might not have. Coaches, athletes, and trainers have validated that this is a critical problem – they agreed that our solution is unique and powerful.”
-Trish O’Connor, MSIM ‘17

“We learned all of these critical innovation skills in the fall semester, so it was really awesome to pull all those courses together and take what we learned to create a business plan”
-Paget Stanco, MSIM ‘17