Good Chemistry: Faster UVA Molecular Analysis Technology Fuels New Start-up

March 10, 2016

BrightSpec production engineer Albert Khim (left) works in the lab with UVA alumnus and company co-founder, Brent Harris.

BrightSpec production engineer Albert Khim (left) works in the lab with UVA alumnus and company co-founder, Brent Harris.

There are people in the world – chemical engineers, astronomers, national defense scientists investigating an explosion – who need to know just what something is made of, down to the molecular level.

Technology developed at the University of Virginia is speeding that process from days or weeks to just minutes.

Brooks Pate, UVA’s William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Chemistry, is the architect behind the emerging technology that is changing the industry standard in chemical analysis. His advances in spectroscopy are opening new doors in everything from pharmaceutical research to the study of interstellar matter.

Spectroscopy is used to study matter by recording the spectrum of light it emits or absorbs when hit with electromagnetic radiation. In the early 2000s, Pate and his research team developed a new method of spectroscopy that allows digital control over the process and thus a much more rapid rate of molecular analysis. Pate had received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001; the so-called “genius grant” gave him $500,000 over five years.

Read the whole story at UVA Today...

Gordon Moore, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Global Innovation

March 8, 2016

Gordon Moore, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Global Innovation

Gordon Moore, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Global Innovation

Gordon Moore is an American engineer, technologist and entrepreneur whose pioneering work in semiconductor electronics helped establish Silicon Valley and drive the Digital Age.

In 1965, while an entrepreneur at his Silicon Valley startup Fairchild Semiconductor, Moore made a prediction that would set the pace for our modern digital revolution. From careful observation of an emerging trend, Moore extrapolated that computing would dramatically increase in power, and decrease in relative cost, at an exponential pace.

From this insight, “Moore’s Law” was born and became the guiding principle for the electronics industry and a springboard for innovation. Moore predicted the number of components the industry would be able to place on a computer chip would double every year. In 1975, he updated his prediction to once every two years. Due to changing technology, the industry now states approximately every 18 months.

Over time, the foundational force of “Moore’s Law” has underpinned countless breakthroughs, from the personal computer, smartphones and the Internet itself to advancements in health care, transportation and energy production. Laptop computers, automated external defibrillators, global positioning systems, digital cameras, and skid control and antilock brakes are but a few of the resulting innovations.

Read the whole story at UVA Today...

UVA Alumna takes 'unshrinking' sweater solution to Shark Tank

November 1, 2015

November 13th, 2015, University of Virginia alumna Desirée Davis Stolar is feeding herself to the sharks – the kind with investment dollars, not multiple rows of teeth. The 2007 graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences is pitching her successful new clothing care start-up, Unshrinkit, to the wealthy and cunning investors of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

Stolar’s journey to entrepreneurship and reality television all started with an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction while she was attending Harvard Business School.

She accidentally shrunk an expensive cashmere sweater that was a gift from her sister. Determined to fix it, she turned to the Internet. After following a YouTube tutorial that suggested soaking the sweater in hair conditioner and water, Stolar was delighted when she was able to stretch it back to its original size. Unfortunately, it didn’t last.

Faced with the prospect of many more cold winters in Boston and the likelihood that more sweaters would make it into the dryer by accident, Stolar decided it was time to find a fix for this common problem.

Read the whole story at UVA Today...

Jobocracy: Empowering Workforce Development

October 19, 2015

In America, despite many programs aiming to close the gap between companies and talent, there still exists a massive difference between what positions and skills that employers desire and what employers actually fill. Jobocracy, a student startup founded at the University of Virginia, aims to aid the demand-driven workforce development movement through software. While they’re only currently in beta, their application will consist of three main features: providing workforce metrics, benchmarking spending figures, and creating a market for employer-sponsored training.

In summer of 2014, before his first year of college, Andy Page (UVA Pre-Commerce 2018) interned at the Fauquier County Department of Economic Development doing research on various topics. One in particular, workforce development, piqued his interest, and he soon became intimately familiar with the problems associated with it.

Read the whole story at CollegeStartup...

The GOJO Initiative: Building better homes for a better world

October 15, 2015

The GOJO Initiative is a nonprofit, open-source project that works to design self-sustaining and environmentally friendly structures. The project primarily addresses issues of indoor air quality, water management, and safety for housing in developing countries.

The project is the brainchild of Tensae Woldesellasie, a graduate student in the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture. He began GOJO without any architectural design skills, just the drive to solve a problem plaguing millions of people worldwide.

Read the whole story at CollegeStartup...

Tiingo: Investing Tools for the Everyday Person

October 7, 2015

Tiingo is a financial site with high-end tools, information, and education all made accessible to both the everyday person and financial institutions. It’s been featured on the cover of Modern Trader and has been featured as an educational investing tool by the CEO of MoneyShow.

If you wanted to learn how to invest, where would you go to learn? When asked by his friends for resources to learn investing, UVA alumnus Rishi Singh (2011) realized that all the educational tools out there at an affordable price were too complex. That, and traditional resources like Yahoo Finance had barely innovated their platform in the past decade.

Singh had graduated from the University of Virginia with an interdisciplinary major through the Echols program he called Quantitative Modeling and went to work for a successful quantitative hedge fund in New York City.

Read the whole story at CollegeStartup...

Jonathan Weinstein ('14, Biology & Philosophy) launches healthcare messaging platform at TechCrunch Disrupt

September 27, 2015

UVA alum Jonathan Weinstein, alongside co-founder Bharat Kilaru, launched their healthcare messaging startup, Stitch, as part of YCombinator's Summer 2015 cohort. The venture was then selected to present at TechCrunch Disrupt, in September 2015.

According to TechCrunch:

Stitch, a central messaging hub for healthcare providers, is launching today on stage at Disrupt to cut down on the $11 billion that U.S. hospitals waste each year due to breakdowns in communication.

You can think of Stitch as Slack for healthcare, except channels are organized around individual patients instead of teams or departments. When a patient checks in, the front desk can set up a channel and alert the staff. Physicians, technicians and nurses can share scans, test results, and observations in the channel as they work to diagnose the patient.

Read the full story at TechCrunch...


New Program Allows Any Undergrad to Minor in Entrepreneurship

August 18, 2015

The University of Virginia will launch one of its largest interdisciplinary degree programs to date this month. The new entrepreneurship minor is open to all undergraduate students and represents a strategic collaboration between multiple schools.

Many of the University’s participating schools, like the McIntire School of Commerce, the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policyand the School of Engineering and Applied Science, already had some kind of entrepreneurship offering for their students. They teamed with the schools of Architecture and Education and the College of Arts & Sciences to broaden their course offerings and make a streamlined entrepreneurship curriculum.

Read the full story at UVA Today.

i.Lab Startup Helps MBAs Find Their Perfect Match

July 22, 2015

RelishMBA_iLab_03_SS For students seeking their MBA, the search for their future job is like a complicated courtship dance. The job hopefuls need more than a résumé-hosting site. They need a matchmaker. RelishMBA is their corporate When RelishMBA co-founder Sarah Rumbaugh enrolled in the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, she knew she wanted to start her own business, but she wasn’t sure exactly what it would be. Read the full story at UVA Today...

U.Va. Grads’ New Corner Restaurant Serves Healthy Food With a Mission

July 9, 2015


A few weeks ago, Alvaro Anspach and Joseph Linzon were processing down the University of Virginia’s historic Lawn, celebrating their graduation with thousands of their classmates. Now, they are taking orders and helping customers at a restaurant across the street. The difference? It’s their restaurant. Roots hopes to fill that gap with a host of grain bowls and salads crafted by chefs Andrew Silver and Ivan Rekosh, renowned for their work at one of Charlottesville’s top restaurants, Zocalo. Diners can build custom creations of whole grains, local produce, lean proteins and housemade dressings or choose from Silver and Rekosh’s signature menu, featuring U.Va.-themed dishes like the “Mad Bowl” or the “Corner Cobb.” All are priced at less than $10.

Read the full story at UVA Today.