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Lehigh University Student-Led Companies Present at LVTech Meetup

By Colin McEvoy on September 21, 2015

Liz Cornell discussing "iDrops," one of three student-led companies from Lehigh University's LaunchBayC Student Accelerator to present at the LVTech Meetup.

Liz Cornell discussing “iDrops,” one of three student-led companies from Lehigh University’s LaunchBayC Student Accelerator to present at the LVTech Meetup.

Each third Tuesday of the month, LVTech provides an outlet for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts in the Lehigh Valley to gather and discuss their projects.

This month, the LVTech Meetup was a platform for three student-led companies from Lehigh University’s LaunchBayC Student Accelerator to demonstrate the products they’ve been working on all summer.

“They got to show what their product does and discuss the business side, how they will be charging for their product,” said Tim Lytle, LVTech organizer. “It’s very similar to what any company would present at LVTech Meetups, but we love to highlight student-led companies at this stage.”

The LaunchBayC Student Accelerator was a full-time summer program giving students 10 weeks to develop their products and ventures in an open-ended format.

Lauren Villaverde holding one of the puzzles from her company, Stackablz.

Lauren Villaverde holding one of the puzzles from her company, Stackablz.

Three LaunchBayC companies presented at the LVTech Meetup on Sept. 15: iDrop, GreekPillar, and Stackablz.

iDrop is a product that makes it easier for elderly patients with glaucoma to administer their eye drops by helping them to keep their eye open, aim, and deliver the proper dosage comfortably.

The device clips onto the side of an eye drop bottle so the patient can hold it up to their eye and use it conveniently. It can be used with one hand and eliminates the need to squeeze the eye drop bottle altogether.

“Our niche market is patients with glaucoma, but down the line it can really be used for anyone with eye drops whether its children with pink eye or just people who use contacts,” said Liz Cornell, 22, iDrop co-founder, a graduate from Lehigh’s Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Sciences (IDEAS) Program.

GreekPillar is a cloud-based, web-application that helps college fraternities organize the recruitment process, providing assistance with managing potential recruits, organizing chapter events, and facilitating chapter-wide communication.

The user-friendly software allows fraternities to oversee the chapter leadership process from a data-driven perspective, a stark contrast from the disorganized, “ad hoc” approach fraternities often take, according to the company.

Stackablz are 3-D puzzles for children ages three and over, made up of non-obvious slices that the child has to reassemble to create a final three-dimensional shape.

The puzzle is intended not only to be fun, but to help improve cross-sectional spatial skills in children, an area currently underexplored by mainstream educational toys and games, according to Stackablz founder Lauren Villaverde, 23.

“There’s research linking strong spatial skills, which start developing a few weeks after you’re born, to later success in STEM fields, so it’s important to start developing those skills early,” said Villaverde, who has a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Lehigh and a master’s in engineering and technical entrepreneurship.

Villaverde was also a presenter at TedxLehighRiver, a program of engaging and thought-provoking presentations inspired by TED Talks. The local program was held Sept. 19 at Allentown’s Miller Symphony Hall.

LVTech has occasionally hosts Tech Talks as part of its LVTech Meetup programs, as well as spotlight meetups in which audience members engage experts in an open conversation about a given topic.

During most LVTech Meetups, three presenters demonstrate a product they built or are working on with a company. If you are interested in presenting a demo of your product or project, contact Lytle via email.

LVTech will also host Venture Weekend from Oct. 23 to 25 at Ben Franklin TechVentures in Bethlehem. During this competitive event, teams form ideas, pitch them in 60 seconds or less, work together to develop a prototype and revenue model, and present them to a panel of judges.

The event encourages creativity, innovation, collaboration, and the entrepreneurial spirit. A series of events will be held throughout October in anticipation of Venture Weekend, including “So You Have an Idea,” “From Mind to Material,” and “Success in 60 Seconds.” Visit the Venture Weekend website for more information.

Site Selection Magazine Highlights Lehigh Valley’s Workforce, Business Climate

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