Ideas and internships incubate downtown

Ideas+and+internships+incubate+downtown

Jon Davis, Contributing Writer

Across from the Campus Theatre on the floor above the Downtown Gallery, one can find the Bucknell University Entrepreneurs Incubator (BUEI), a hub for innovation and design. Within the BUEI, many different Lewisburg entrepreneurs share an office space, each day working toward growing their companies. These companies offer different services and products, but they all share a goal of staying current and pleasing their customers. Two of these companies rely on the talent of University interns to keep businesses running smoothly.

RunLites

Mary Tiffin has created the next generation of nighttime running wear. Her product, RunLites, is a running glove with an extremely lightweight, USB-rechargeable flashlight built into the glove. The light has multiple brightness settings to suit any runner’s need. Tiffin took this product to the next level by adding in a built-in storage pocket for small items one would need for running. The innovative design includes breathable fabric and a special patch made for wiping away sweat while running. The gloves are machine washable, making them easy to clean after a run. Tiffin’s success is largely due to her commitment to perfecting every aspect of the product.

Luke Giugliano ’17, one of the University’s cross-country runners, has used these types of products in the past.
“In the winter months we can only start running so early due to classes, so it gets dark about halfway through hour-long runs. Since we’re always running outside and usually on roads, [flashlight gloves] are a handy way to make sure we’re seen by cars without the inconvenience of carrying something extra on the run,” Giugliano said.

Novipod

At his previous job, Michael Levan could only see if a package was either out for delivery or not, and had no way of tracking where it was throughout its journey. He believed that in the age of GPS technology, companies should be able to see where their packages were located every second of every day. In 2013, Levan recruited his coworker David Capatch, and together they became the founders of Novipod, a company that offers a variety of tracking services and sensor products. Today, the company continues to enjoy success and works with two University interns.

A key part of Novipod’s success can be attributed to Levan leveraging his network to find potential partners. His large network base paid off when one of Levan’s contacts gave him information about an important individual at Verizon. The connection proved to be very fruitful.

“I had three east coast regional Verizon executives sitting in [Novipod’s incubator office] talking to David and I, wondering what we were trying to do,” Levan said.

After learning more about Novipod from Levan and Capatch, the Verizon executives decided to make Novipod a Verizon Wireless Premier Partner. Levan’s networking strategy continues to help his company gain more opportunities and was crucial in helping Novipod become the successful business that it is today.

Medtrics

After the U.S. government changed the requirements of residency programs, the online medical education platform industry lagged behind. After encouragement from a friend and positive responses from multiple hospital directors, Santhosh Cherian founded Medtrics Lab in 2013. Today, Medtrics Lab has created a revolutionary online medical education platform that is leased to hospitals and other medical institutions across the country.

Cherian and CEO of Medtrics Lab Chris Tokodi have had to learn and master a variety of skills that also apply to their University interns. Matt Terry ’16 is a mechanical engineering student and one of Medtrics Lab’s interns. Terry gets to experience mechanical engineering at the University, but was looking for an opportunity to learn more about sales, and Medtrics Lab was accommodating.

“They opened it up to us,” Terry said.  He explained how the company gave him six tasks that needed to be completed, but had no real specific plans and no time requirements. Terry spends eight to 10 hours a week learning and refining his skills in sales.

Son Pham ’17 is a student whose goal is to become a designer, and Medtrics Lab allows for him to get hands-on experience. He works with Cherian on different potential features. After agreeing on an idea, Pham designs it and then sends his design to a programmer. Unlike in class where designs are often done for the sake of practice, Pham’s ideas are brought to life at Medtrics.

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