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The E(I) Lab, an entrepreneurship and innovation lab that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration at UNC-Chapel Hill, recently partnered with The Graduate School to offer the inaugural Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for graduate students, professional students, and postdocs.

This three-day workshop allowed students from diverse disciplines across UNC-Chapel Hill to conceive, develop, and test innovative solutions to real world challenges.

The Equipose team placed first in the final day’s competition and included:

  • Maya Fitzgerald, Eshelman School of Pharmacy
  • Taj Morgan, Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • Ian Thomas, Department of Computer Science, College of Arts and Sciences

They chose to work on a project that would help to minimize falls for older adults with the use of artificial intelligence. Their technology would be used to identify environmental hazards to reduce the rise of falls in elderly patients.

The three teams that participated in this cohort included:

  • 1st Place: Equipose
  • 2nd Place: Pain Proof, with Maura Vrabel, a biomedical engineering student who researched and addressed the management of back pain. Vrabel’s work planned to offer a digital application that would provide end-to-end communication for physical therapists and their patients to improve compliance.
  • 3rd Place: Thomas Healthcare, with Michelle Thomas, an Eshelman School of Pharmacy student who researched the distribution of healthcare products and medical supplies to low- and middle-income countries. Thomas discovered that with the reduction of international transport costs, we could increase access to everyday healthcare resources to these countries with shared resources.

The E(I) Lab Program provides access to various experts with the goal of removing barriers to entrepreneurship and innovation with the participants. When asked to describe the program, Fitzgerald called it insightful, while other participants used words like, “empowering, encouraging, affirming, and eye-opening.”

The E(I) Lab launched out of the Eshelman School of Pharmacy over six years ago and was the first interdisciplinary lab of its type at the time.

E(I) Lab is an experiential program established for graduate students from various disciplines at Carolina to tackle unmet real-world needs, gain first-hand training in entrepreneurship development, and learn about the latest research in problem solving, teamwork, and strategic planning.

Applications for our next cohort will be posted on our website. Learn more my emailing Barbara Bell.

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