It’s been one year since I formally joined up with my Co-Founder Tim Krupski and so much has happened! Tim and I created a patent pending toilet lift assist product to help the elderly and disabled get on and off the toilet. The 3 CCEI programs Tim and I attended essentially transformed our idea into a viable business. I knew it was time for me to transition from a part time venture to fully onboarding to SedMed when Tim and I reached the point where we realized we needed to fully commit to the great opportunity we had. Knowing that SedMed has the opportunity to save people’s lives and prevent injuries along with the overwhelming support of my family, friends, and mentors inspired me to make the jump.
It’s funny, my whole outlook on life has actually completely changed since I became full-time on SedMed – I am much much happier and am more motivated than ever. I came on full time as CEO to launch and run our company with my co-founder. The extra time I gained being full time has allowed me to devote way more time to key meetings, work on BD, and network constantly. I also will be driving our prototype around to scores of important stakeholders, users, and investors to review and demo it. My first week being a full-time CEO was BUSY! Before I made the jump, Tim and I organized every task imaginable for the next 12 months into our project management software so we knew we had a lot to get done. As I mentioned, being able to fully commit myself to our venture is one of the most freeing, motivating, and serotonin-producing things I’ve ever done. It’s a lifestyle that comes with a lot of work, but will be the most rewarding when we are able to help people and scale our business.
SedMed Solutions, co-founded by Jeremy Bronen and Timothy Krupski, has created a patent pending toilet lift assist product to help the elderly and disabled get on and off the toilet. Too many senior citizens or otherwise disabled people are struggling with daily toileting activities leading to falls, injuries, and even deaths. Caregiver intervention results in injuries, a lack of independence and privacy, and high associated costs.
Tim’s Grandmother suffered from a stroke when Tim was in high school, making her wheelchair bound. After watching his grandmother struggle getting on and off surfaces around the house, Tim realized he needed to help. And so SedMed was born. This company and this product were founded on the principle of caring for and helping the people we love – our families.
The Green Agronomics company involves two members, Jason Henderson and Amanda Clark. Their company created the Weedbine.
In the words of Jason Henderson, “Pesticides can no longer be used on school grounds and sports fields (Pre-K through 8th grade) in CT. Similar laws or pesticide restrictions have impacted other states as well, making it very difficult for turfgrass managers to maintain safe playing surfaces. The Weedbine is a completely new device for turfgrass management that was created to enable sports turf managers to control weeds mechanically while they mow and maintain high quality playing surfaces where laws prohibit or severely restrict pesticide use.”
Their goal during summer fellowship is to find the quickest path to market so turfgrass managers can begin to implement this new tool into their management regime. “We think it can help a lot of people do their job more effectively where pesticide use has been severely restricted or banned.” – Jason Henderson
The UConn School of Medicine’s Faculty Robert Aseltine, and postdoctoral fellows Chonglian Luo and Riddhi Doshi, along with the UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences graduate student Wenjie Wang and Undergraduate Student Madeleine Aseltine, and in collaboration with industry mentor Cal Colins, are building a program to assist healthcare providers in collecting patient information to improve quality measurement, increase patient engagement, simplify reporting, and maximize reimbursement.
This program, called WellTech, is a patient health screening platform that will screen patients for a variety of different diseases and risk factors to improve patient care and maximize reimbursements for the providers.
The WellTech team decided to join the Summer Fellowship after completing the Accelerate Uconn program in the spring of 2018, wanting to continue the work they had started and learn more about how to expand their business model.
Entrepreneurial Lead Madeleine Aseltine feels that the team has already learned so much from their participation in Summer Fellowship. “So far, the most important thing we’ve learned is to know and understand how our customers decide to buy a product like ours. We’re continually focusing on customer discovery so that we can deliver a product they want.”
When asked what the team hopes to learn by the end of Summer Fellowship, Aseltine responded, “We hope to learn how to successfully grow our startup into a business, and how to take our product out of the classroom and into the market!”
Conveying the level of exuberance that was felt as I opened my hotel curtains on Friday morning may be a tough task. I fear that this remarkable amount of excitement may not resonate with the readers who do not have the pleasure of being faced with this breathtaking view of Jerusalem. Today marks the weekly holiday of Shabbat, where people come together with their loved ones to celebrate their unconditional bond with each other.
After enjoying lunch served up from the hospitable staff at the hotel, our group ventured to a spot that holds vast significance for anyone whose heart allows them to evoke empathic emotion. This stop is known as Yad Vashem, a museum that documents the atrocities of the holocaust.
Because of the immense devastation that came as a result of the Third Reich, the presence of somber sensations upon the onlookers of such an exhibit is expected. However, what was surprising to me was the sadness that came from observing the bleak expressions on the faces of viewers who appeared to be of Israeli descent.
Having a first hand look at the brutal effect that those unthinkable events had on people whose ancestors were likely a part of it provided me with a perspective that enabled me to consider the occurrence in more realistic terms. In this moment, I was not a privileged American student listening to a teacher lecture on some catastrophic event that took place during World War Two; nor was I an insensitive homebody watching some ‘History Channel’ special for the purpose of entertainment. No, this was not the case. In this moment, I was rubbing shoulders with men and women who knew the heartache of visiting a grave sight that was dug because of the inhumane decisions of Adolf Hitler, and felt the raw pain that comes from envisioning a relationship with grandparents that they were never able to meet. As I stood there with my spirits in a downward spiral, all I could do was hope that the people that I was empathizing with somehow understood that I felt for them dearly.
Although I was so deeply touched by the sights at Yad Vashem, I had to seek composure as our group was set to meet with the staff that is responsible with running the well-renowned company, “Made In Jerusalem”. Just as a valuable experience was gained just hours before inside of the museum, the same was achieved inside of these walls. The interesting talk helped add to the foundation of my business acumen, showing me new methods to approach opportunities that can lead to financial growth. I am thankful to have been given the chance of sitting in the same room with individuals of that stature, because I have a firm belief that the strategic tools learned from that meeting will one day help me build something substantial in the arena of wealth.
Although this day was already one that would not soon be forgotten, it would have felt incomplete without getting in on the holiday festivities. Luckily, thanks to a lovely host family, my group was welcomed to a dinner where not only was the food abundant, but also were the compassion and generosity. The singing of faith-laden songs, drinking of domestic wine, and discussing of the nation’s happenings made me feel as if I was a part of their community. I appreciated their willingness to let a stranger into the their home and treat me as if I was one of their own. Because of that, I will always have a special respect for the people of Israel. Although I am aware that one family cannot represent an entire country, the way that I was treated inside that house combined with the genuine feeling that I received from the people on the street gave me enough evidence to maintain a favorable view of this region long after I land back in America.
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My name is Jonathan DaCosta, a junior majoring in biology and minoring in economics with the plan to matriculate into a physicians assistant program after earning my Bachelors degree. I hope to get a great understanding on what it takes to become an entrepreneur and how these accelerators innovated their company so quickly. I want to be a well-rounded individual in the business field and in the medical field.
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