Published April 14, 2021
The honors continue for Limitless Medical Technologies (LMT), a University at Buffalo startup which produces a leak-sensing film that works with an app to monitor patients who have had intestinal repairs.
LMT, which includes two current and two former Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences students, has been accepted to the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars Global Fellowship program for tech ventures.
Blake Kruger, a third-year medical student, and Jacob Opalinski, a senior in the biomedical engineering undergraduate program, are members of LMT.
Others members of LMT include: Andrea Kraft, who is pursuing master’s degrees in business administration and public health at UB; Arnav Matta, who also attended UB; Prerna Pant, a 2019 graduate of the master’s program in biomedical engineering; and Nicolette Winder, MD, a 2020 graduate of the Jacobs School’s medical education program.
It is one of the 50 startups that was selected from more than 125 nominations across 30 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Ireland.
The LMT team first came together in 2019 for startup boot camp UB Blast (Business, Law and Surgical Technology) — founded and directed by Steven D. Schwaitzberg, MD, professor and chair of surgery — to develop a medical device to solve the devastating and costly surgical complication of anastomotic leaks.
Such leaks — occurring after some colorectal surgeries — are difficult to detect early. The consequences are severe: an ostomy bag, sepsis or even death. The potential market could be worth $2.5 billion.
LMT captured the UB Blast competition, which culminated in a “Shark Tank”-style pitch fest in which judges evaluated the presentations.
In addition, the team finished second among 32 teams in the 2020 University at Buffalo Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC), collecting $10,000 for the company. LMT also captured the People’s Choice award at the event, bringing the team an additional $1,000. Panasci TEC was created two decades ago by the UB School of Management and UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships to facilitate and promote the commercialization of UB-generated technologies.
Through the fellowship program, the students will receive resources, support and mentorship to help them advance their startup ideas over the eight-week program. They will also receive $5,000 each in grant funding to support their time working on advancing their startup.
The program includes regular LaunchPad coaching sessions from the campus director, weekly entrepreneurial workshops organized by Future Founders, as well as two weeks of mentorship sessions with Blackstone employees and Techstars advisers. Students will also have the opportunity to join the LaunchPad Network Spring Speaker Series, a quarterly event featuring successful entrepreneurs who provide insight into skill-building and career readiness.
“Fellows in the program will engage with like-minded student founders, and the access they’ll have to mentors and accomplished entrepreneurs is unmatched,” says Hadar Borden, director of UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars. “This experience will help propel their ventures by offering greater exposure to investors and provide additional development support from experts in their industry.”
The Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars entrepreneurship network helps students build next-generation companies and careers and works with higher educational institutions to deliver on that goal.