VentureWell Announces Summer 2019 E-Team Grantees

We awarded over $200k to 22 high-impact student teams in our Summer 2019 cohort of the E-Team Grant Program.

We are excited to announce our newest VentureWell E-Teams that have been accepted into the Summer 2019 E-Team Grant Program cohort. This group of 22 early-stage student ventures was selected through a competitive national review process and were chosen based on the potential for their innovation to have significant positive social or environmental impact.   

Of the 22 startups selected for the E-Team program, there are:

  • 2 agriculture and agtech teams
  • 1 biotechnology team
  • 1 energy and materials team
  • 15 healthcare and medtech teams
  • 2 information technology and communication teams
  • 2 sanitation and water teams

VentureWell E-Teams receive grants of up to $25,000 and participate in our early-stage innovator training program. The training provides teams with peer networking, expert coaching, national recognition, and hands-on workshops to help move their innovations forward. Over the past 23 years, VentureWell has trained over 800 entrepreneurs in 300 E-Teams. To date, teams that have taken part in the E-Team Program have gone on to launch 182 ventures and raise $122+ million in follow-on funding after taking part in our program.

The Summer 2019 cohort includes 15 teams that are each receiving a $5,000 Stage 1 grant, and seven teams that are receiving a $20,000 Stage 2 grant. Teams will attend intensive, three-day workshops in Boston where they will work to move their innovations forward alongside our team of experienced startup trainers, guest speakers, and mentors. Stage 1 teams will attend the VentureWell Pioneer workshop, which will focus on discovering the best market for their inventions; Stage 2 E-Teams will attend the VentureWell Propel workshop, where they will work to develop and validate their business model.

Meet the Summer 2019 cohort:


TRIC Robotics University of Delaware, Stage 1
TRIC Robotics is developing an automated service that uses ultraviolet light (UV-C) as a chemical-free alternative to pesticides for strawberry growers.  

VerdiLife University of Iowa, Stage 2
VerdiLife is developing a biomass recycling process that can produce organic fertilizer and pesticide solutions and is carbon-negative with zero emissions.


VertX Advertising University of California-Davis, Stage 1
VertX Advertising is developing antimicrobial coatings for use in public transportation that double as advertising space, providing the transit agency with both improvements in cleanliness and a new revenue stream.

Energy and Materials

AeroShield Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stage 1
AeroShield is developing a form of glass that can be used in double- and triple-paned windows to increase energy efficiency.   


drizzle Johns Hopkins University, Stage 1
drizzle is developing a device that can be used by individuals in low-resourced areas to test for tuberculosis, reducing the risk of disease spread by underdiagnosed cases and enabling earlier treatment intervention.

ForSight Innovation Johns Hopkins University, Stage 1
ForSight Innovation is developing a tool that allows eyecare professionals in low-middle income countries to use a significantly smaller incision to remove a cataract, reducing post-surgery issues.

hDrop Harding University, Stage 1
hDrop is developing a wearable device that quickly and accurately analyzes perspiration to determine the user’s hydration level and alert them when it’s necessary to hydrate.

Hubly Surgical Northwestern University, Stage 1
Hubly is developing an integrated medical drill system for common neurosurgery procedures that combines multiple neurosurgical tools and integrates a guidance mechanism enabling the procedures to be done at the bedside and reducing reliance on operating rooms.

INSU Health Design University of Houston, Stage 1
INSU Health Design is developing a personal-use system for storing medicines that integrates a thermoelectric cooler, vacuum flask, and fluid loop to efficiently keep medicine cool for days without relying on the electrical grid.

Kijenzi Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus, Stage 2
Kijenzi is developing a 3D printing system that enables localized manufacturing of medical equipment replacement parts, non-invasive medical devices, and consumables using a web-based library of designs accessible to rural hospitals and clinics in emerging economies. 

MedsForAll University of Washington-Seattle Campus, Stage 2
MedsForAll is developing a universal autoinjector technology that uses the existing ampule medication cartridges used in hospitals and clinics, reducing cost and waste compared to combination product autoinjectors.

MedLock University of Virginia-Main Campus, Stage 1
MedLock is developing a secure pill dispenser for use with opioid prescriptions that tracks when patients consume the medication and transmits the data to healthcare providers, preventing unintentional misuse and disincentivizing unauthorized diversion.

OxyGen Johns Hopkins University, Stage 1
OxyGen is developing a portable oxygen concentrator for patients on long-term oxygen therapy that combines high-flow ambient air with pulses of concentrated oxygen in a mechanism that is easily maneuverable and energy-efficient.

ReSuture Tulane University of Louisiana, Stage 1
ReSuture is developing a material for use in surgical simulations that accurately reproduces the mechanical properties of human vascular tissue and can be used repeatedly, providing highly realistic vascular surgery simulations and reducing training time.

Schnell Optics University of Rochester, Stage 2
Certain forms of breast cancer can be misdiagnosed as a result of unreliable pathology exams. Schnell Optics is developing a breast cancer screening tool for surgical pathologists, with the goal of reducing misdiagnosis by a factor of ten.

Sickle Cell Anemia Team Lehigh University, Stage 1
The Sickle Cell Anemia Team is developing a low-cost diagnostic tool for use in screening for sickle-cell anemia in individuals in low-middle income countries, enabling early intervention and reducing mortality.

Sorbit University of California-Davis, Stage 1
Sorbit is developing an absorbent material made with bacterial cellulose grown on upcycled agricultural waste that can be used to produce biodegradable diapers, tampons, or pads.

Tempo Stanford University, Stage 2
Tempo is developing a tampon made from a blend of bamboo and cotton with a novel thread channel to provide higher absorbency and eliminate leakage. 

Information Technology & Communication

Falchion Systems East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, Stage 1
Falchion Systems is developing a cybersecurity platform that provides virtual applications, such as web browser and email, for organizations to protect their systems from the impacts of poor user behavior in the face of social engineering and phishing attacks.

JMU CubeSat Team James Madison University, Stage 1
The JMU CubeSat Team is developing a system to launch multiple small satellites for wireless data collection and networking that will enable testing of new research and technologies in space. 

Sanitation & Water

Billion Bottle Project Case Western Reserve University, Stage 2
Billion Bottle Project is developing a low-cost, reusable sensor that accurately detects the completion of the solar disinfection process in water treatment.

Contraire Oklahoma State University-Main Campus, Stage 2
Contraire is developing an automated control system that provides wastewater treatment plants with real-time feedback to optimize the aeration process and reduce energy usage.

about our e-team grant program

The E-Team Grant Program supports students who have an idea or invention that has the potential to solve a significant social, health, or environmental challenge. Our E-Team grants give student teams the opportunity to receive up to $25k in funding, along with the training, networking opportunities, and national recognition they need to launch their venture. 

VentureWell is now accepting applications for the Winter 2020 E-Team Program cohort. New this cycle, we’re introducing a Qualification Phase to our application—student teams can now submit an easy-to-navigate, two-page form to receive personalized feedback on the fit and eligibility of their project before obtaining VentureWell membership and completing their Stage 1 proposal. Qualifications Phase applications are due on August 21 and the deadline for completed Stage 1 proposals is October 2. Learn more about our E-Team Grant Program and start your application.

about venturewell 

VentureWell is a non-profit organization that supports the creation of new ventures from an emerging generation of science and technology inventors and supports the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems that are critical to their success. We’ve funded or trained over 6,500 science and technology inventors and innovators and nurtured nearly a thousand of their startups reaching millions of people in over 50 countries. We are proud that leading institutions, from foundations to government agencies to major businesses, support our mission to transform higher education and technology entrepreneurship. The Lemelson Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are among those who recognize ours as a powerful model for supporting emerging STEM innovators and the entrepreneurship ecosystems that are critical to their success. Visit to learn more.

The E-Team Grant program is presented through the generous support of The Lemelson Foundation and the Autodesk Foundation.


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