Accelerate UConn Propelus Cohort Announced

The Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI) is pleased to announce the teams selected to participate in our Accelerate UConn Propelus program, UConn’s National Science Foundation Innovation Corps site. 

The following teams received special training and a $3,000 grant to help understand whether and how their technology could create customer value:

AnaBio: Ali Lotfi (Graduate Student, CLAS), Christian Gee (PhD Candidate, PHARM), Alexander Aksenov (Faculty, CLAS),
Developing a more cost-effective and less intrusive diagnostic tool for the early detection of respiratory and stomach diseases, including cancer and infections, with high-resolution results and exceptional accuracy.

Andros: Laron Burrows (PhD Candidate, ENG), Jacob Crow (Undergraduate Student, ENG)
A system to produce ammonia from water, air and renewable energy through a reactor producing ammonia that's cheaper and safer than the conventional method, with the potential to reduce the cost of ammonia synthesis by 70%. 

Microneedle Bandage to Prevent Lyme Disease: Lawrence Silbart (Faculty, CAHNR), Lori Burdick (PhD Candidate, CLAS), Kevin Bouley (Alumni, BUS)
Developing a microneedle bandage that penetrates the epidermis and delivers powerful antibiotics locally when applied to the skin atop a tick bite immediately after removing an attached tick. By killing the bacteria in the dermal tissue before the infection spreads, Lyme Disease will be prevented.

FireMap: Shane Forzano (Alumni, CLAS), Zachary Dunn
A concept for a software startup to forecast the spread of wildfires using current environmental factors, marketed as a service to fire departments in the American Southwest, as well for state/government agencies to assist in evacuation efforts and better allocation of resources.

Curious Wellness LLC: Pavan Kumar Bolla (Graduate Student, BUS), Hema Pradhiksha Dhanapal, Jennifer Eigo (Faculty, BUS)
Developing reliable machine learning classifiers based on health behavior indicators that recommends health risk mitigating methods, future lifestyle and work arounds. 

Swipestorm: Nathan Catapano (Undergraduate Student, CLAS), Allison Davenport (Undergraduate Student, BUS)
A mobile app that simplifies restaurant management by replacing archaic paper-based systems and disjointed cookie-cutter apps with one app for complete operational control that equips leaders with the tools and information to make autonomous decisions. 

eKardia: Adeline Riya Richard (Undergraduate Student, ENG), Paris Bazemore (Undergraduate Student, ENG), Arav Parikh (Undergraduate Student, ENG), Meijin Hsiao (Undergraduate Student, NUR)
Creating a wire-less, wearable EKG device that transmits information via Bluetooth and utilizes AI-driven insights to detect arrhythmic heartbeats more reliably and efficiently. 

MOGS: Gaofei Zhang (Graduate Student, CAHNR), Ming Gao, TianYang Li
Developed with exceptional warmth, waterproofing, and elegance in mind, these boots are ideally suited for the cold climates of North America and Northern Europe, such as Connecticut and beyond, with a comprehensive operational plan already in place, completed product designs, a production line set up, and initial samples produced, all rigorously tested in real-life conditions at temperatures as low as -30°C.

EndoSplain: Lakshmi Nair (Faculty, UConn Health), Yusuf Khan (Faculty, UConn Health)
A technology in the field of pain management that has been designed to prolong the anesthetic/analgesic effect of local anesthetics. Its application includes post surgical or chronic pain management, and would reduce/eliminate the need for complementary opioid use.

Toribio Labs: John Toribio (PhD Candidate, CLAS), Kyle Mahoney (PhD Candidate, CAHNR), Josué Martínez-Martínez (PhD Candidate, ENG)
Technology comprising of a wearable system for continuous health monitoring based on smart-clothing. The form factor of garments enables the continuous collection of high-resolution electrical activity from the heart, discrete muscles, and skin. The wearable system includes a lightweight battery pack and a mobile app providing AI-powered analytics.

HOT Bone Inc.: Cato Laurencin (Alumni, UConn Health), Manaswee Barua (PostDoc, UConn Health)
Bringing products to market based on technologies from the Connecticut Convergence Institute by developing and marketing a comprehensive suite of technologies based on musculoskeletal regeneration. The pipeline of products have a range of timeframes to market, from 18 months to 2 years. 

Naet Smart Cardio-Oncology Health: Corbinian Wanner (Graduate Student, MED), Dr. Olga Toro-Salazar, Tiffany Ruiz
Providing a smart, cloud-based digital solution to facilitate the delivery of personalized cardio-oncology care in children to reduce cardiac deaths related to cancer therapy by promoting fitness and education about cardiac risk factors. 

Opti-Moo: Alaa Selim (Graduate Student, ENG), Intisar Rouabhia
Addressing the issue of inefficient water management in agriculture, specifically targeting small-scale farmers in the New England area by equipping farmers with the knowledge and tools necessary to make informed decisions about water utilization.

Equipo Health Inc.: Darius Stallone (Graduate Student, BUS), Parijat Bhattacharjee (Alumni), Fincy Yousuff (Alumni)
Transforming clinical data into actionable care coordination engagements serving diverse health organizations and care delivery models. Built on the central tenets of risk stratification, patient engagement, and outcomes, it utilizes AI to increase levels of patient care and optimize outcomes.

LiveAgain: Rehaan Ahamed Parves Ahamed (Graduate Student, BUS), Arbaz Khan Bhatti (Graduate Student, BUS), Yash Parihar (Graduate Student, BUS)
Leveraging cutting-edge AI technology to create a personalized, voice-activated companion designed to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation among elderly individuals using sophisticated algorithms to understand and respond to human speech. The technology is tailored to offer a more human-like interaction, learning from each conversation to better understand the user's preferences, moods, and needs over time.

AccessFlora: Keegan Jalbert (Undergraduate Student, CLAS), Jacob Timchak (Undergraduate Student, CAHNR)
Improving aquaculture and increasing microalgal biomass production by by improving light utilization and keeping more water as part of the system. The product can be incorporated and adapted to any size of open pond raceway systems.

We're excited to welcome Leland Holcomb and Claire Zick to our team of program instructors this spring, bringing their knowledgeable backgrounds in insurtech and healthcare technology.

Each Propelus program provides hands-on training in the fundamental components of new venture creation and is delivered by experienced entrepreneurs and NSF trained instructors. Participants are provided with a $3,000 customer discovery grant from the NSF, and personalized coaching and feedback to help construct an evidence-based business model and market entry strategy.

In 2024, UConn joined The NSF Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) Northeast Hub. The hub is part of a nationwide NSF-funded network of universities formed to accelerate the economic impact of federally funded research – delivering benefits in health care, the environment, technology and other areas – while building skills and opportunities among researchers from all backgrounds, including those historically underrepresented in entrepreneurship. Learn more about the hub at, or visit our program page at

For inquiries about Accelerate UConn, email