PolyLux reaches next step in product development process12/12/2016
PolyLux is a start-up company created by Kaushik Mishra, a Ph.D. polymer science student and Dr. Abraham Joy, an associate professor of polymer science, at The University of Akron. The product centers on a new adhesive technology designed to facilitate the easier removal of bandages, thereby reducing pain and injury in patients. Mishra has been working on this product for the last two years, and with the help of recent Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network (MAGNET) grant funding, he will be moving into the pilot prototyping and manufacturing stage of the product.
“I am excited to finally be in the process of making a physical product,” said Mishra. “This physical proof-of-concept phase is an important next step. I want to show medical professionals and end users my product and demonstrate that it can be made and be used to reduce pain in individuals.”
PolyLux creator Kaushik Mishra is pictured here with Gopal Nadkarni, left, and Timothy Nevin, project manager at MAGNET.
Dream close to reality
Within the next six months, Mishra plans to have a bandage made, begin to test its properties and then demonstrate it to hospitals and other medical facilities. Mishra has won several entrepreneurial competitions and UA has received multiple grants to make this dream a reality.
Gopal Nadkarni, an associate professor in the College of Engineering and a PolyLux business mentor, has been giving Mishra guidance, encouraging him to continue to develop his product. This was a journey that began in early 2015 with Mishra taking Nadkarni’s class on Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship and developing his idea for the product. In addition, strong support from the University of Akron Research Foundation (UARF) has helped the team come together and get formal business advice. With UARF support, the team went on to win a place in Ohio’s I-Corps@Ohio programs, where the team was awarded $15,000 to validate the market need.
“I strongly encourage Kaushik and all of my students to think about applying their research to make an application that customers want, and create the basis for a product, process, or service that impacts society positively,” said Nadkarni. “I want students to be attracted to and flourish at UA because of entrepreneurship opportunities.”
Giving start-ups a boost to success
Most recently, Nadkarni helped connect PolyLux to MAGNET, a Northeast Ohio nonprofit organization that helps start-up companies achieve efficiencies through increased productivity and helps them in product development and growth strategies.
MAGNET encouraged the team to continue the development of this product and promised grant money to kick-start the scale up of the adhesive and pilot product. Through MAGNET’s [M]Pact program, the team was able to match $20,000 of Nadkarni’s and PolyLux’s funding to begin the prototyping phase. Mishra and Nadkarni are also winners in their inaugural [M]SPIRE Award, an online pitch competition held every year to help promising startups. Additionally, MAGNET gave the team free incubator space at its headquarters in Cleveland to help further his product development.
“I will continue to guide Kaushik through his product development stages and hope that this shows students that they can be successful in their research efforts and encourage all students to attempt entrepreneurial projects,” stated Nadkarni. “We want our students to continue to collaborate with other disciplines such as arts and sciences, engineering, business and law so that they’re successful in their efforts to become entrepreneurs.”
Story by Courtney Bosetti
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