Every year Princeton University’s Keller Center runs a program for student entrepreneurs, sometimes helping them build businesses from scratch over the summer. The eLab participants this year are working on blockchain technology, an educational nonprofit, and protein bars where the protein comes from ground up crickets, among other projects.
The Keller Center will hold its annual demo day on Tuesday, August 14, from 2:30 to 6:15 p.m. at the Frick Chemistry Lab at Princeton. For more information, visit kellercenter.princeton.edu. Each of the seven teams will show a two-minute video, give an eight minute pitch, and then take questions.
Alira Infrared Biosensing provides highly sensitive, noninvasive sensors to measure a multitude of important biomarkers, especially glucose. The team’s first prototype was developed at Princeton University to detect glucose in the dermis layer of the skin using a mid-infrared laser source. Without a means to measure glucose accurately and frequently, treatment for the hundreds of millions of people suffering from diabetes can be a dangerous guessing game. Alira says its product provides a noninvasive, pain-free, continuous alternative to the painful finger pricks most glucometers require. The team has further expanded its reach and prototyped sensors to measure glucose in other biofluids, as well as during food production. The product’s design features an integrating sphere to collect scattered light from turbid media. This adaptation allows it to detect biomarkers in situations not previously thought possible.
Team members: Nsomma Alilonu, Noah Apthorpe, Yasin Kaya, Kalil Shaw, and Alexandra Werth.
TerraVuze (formerly perFIcT) is using virtual reality technology to transform the outdoor retail industry. The company seeks to provide a completely immersive shopping experience wherein consumers can browse gear in its intended use environment. TerraVuze wants to simplify shopping for outdoor gear, and help everyone understand what they will need for their next adventure.
Team members: Lucas Manning, Kobe Miller, Ameen Moshirfar, and Joe Ratliffe.
Afari builds decentralized applications to help people reclaim their privacy and data on the internet. Afari has two products: a decentralized encrypted messaging and payments platform (similar to WeChat) and a decentralized microblogging platform (similar to Twitter). The products use a blockchain-based naming and storage system, Blockstack, and help people overcome censorship, surveillance and data lock-in.
Team members: Richard Adjei, May Jiang, Felix Madutsa, Seyoon Ragavan, and Avthar Sewrathan
HomeWorks Trenton is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides an after school boarding program to underserved middle and high school girls in Trenton. HomeWorks is a supplement to the Trenton public school system, providing the social-emotional and academic enrichment opportunities of a traditional boarding school without the socio-economic limitations. Students attend public school during the day and come to HomeWorks once they are dismissed. There, they receive mentorship and academic support, participate in community-oriented activities, and stay overnight in a stable home environment. They board from Sunday nights until Friday mornings so they can re-connect with their families on the weekends. HomeWorks provides underserved students with opportunities that are typically found outside of their urban communities.
In the summer of 2017, HomeWorks launched a four-week residential pilot program, serving five young women. The participants engaged in book discussions, community service projects, daily family style dinners, and more, according to the team.
Team members: Madelyn Baron, Kiley Coates, Gagandeep Kaur , Shohini Rakhit, Elijah Sumners, and Natalie Tung.
Ketnu Foods creates “sustainable superfood” enriched with milled cricket.
The company’s first creation is called Ketnu, which is a food designed for backpackers and hikers, or, as the company’s press materials put it, “explorers.”
“Eco-conscious adventurers want nutritious, environmentally sustainable food to fuel them as they explore new territory; from the depths of the oceans, to the tops of mountain, to their own backyard,” says a Kentu press release.
“Ketnu is a nutrient dense, sustainable, and flavorful product enriched with milled cricket that will endure any expedition. It is ideal for those at the forefront of exploration, as well as those embarking on their first adventure.” Kentu says milled cricket is full of protein, vitamin B12 and omega 3 and 6 acids. “Ketnu’s nutritional density and unprocessed compositions allows it to travel far and wide. It can be eaten raw, chopped, grilled, baked, and more.”
The crickets are farmed using methods that have minimal environmental impact. Rearing Crickets requires significantly less water, space, and food than livestock. Their ability to convert feed into edible product is twelve times as efficient as cows, and they use 2000 times less water.
Team members: Grace Cordsen, Madelynn Prendergast, and Jordi Cabanas
Tendo is a technology company that makes a device that provides accurate flow rate and pressure measurements, which are normally extremely challenging to obtain. The team uses technology for high fidelity flow measurements developed in Princeton’s Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department to drastically improve the fidelity of flow sensing at a significantly reduced cost. Tendo is commercializing a new invention developed at Princeton called the Elastic Filament Velocimetry (EFV, patent pending), based on a novel yet simple microribbon structure, which resulted in a highly sensitive sensor that can detect flow rates as low as 0.5mL/hour – smaller than any technology available. The batch processes used for manufacturing the sensors can easily reduce the sensor cost to less than 50 cents at scale. The EFV technology is ideal for administering medical injections because of its sensitivity and low cost. As a versatile platform, the EFV can be operated in any fluid (both liquid and gaseous) and has attracted interests from other industries such as HVAC systems.
Team members: Erin Endres, Yuyang Fan, Tiffany Sun, Riley Held, Sharon Zhang, and Matt Fu.
Lumhaa helps users collaborate to craft personal, family, organization, and special event narratives with photos, videos, audio, and text. It works primarily through a mobile app that also helps users engage with memories others, including strangers, share from around the world.
Team members: Mara Muslea, Shriya Sekhsaria, Hannah Wang, and Crystal Wu.