Where Are They Now? Latina-Led Respira Labs Raises Pre-Seed Round

ICYMI, our beloved National NSF I-Corps, UC Berkeley Masters of Translational Medicine (MTM) & UC LAUNCH alum, Dr. Maria Artunduaga continues to shine!

Respira Labs recently raised $1 million in pre-seed funding led by Zentynel Frontier Investments with participation by VentureWell, ImpactAssets, and several angel investors from the United States and Latin America. The company was also awarded an additional $1.8 million in grants from Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes for Health (NIH), and other startup prizes.

The funding is a major win for a standout medtech startup and U.S. Latinx startup community; allows the company to grow team, develop clinical trials

The medtech startup offers the only wearable device to monitor lung function through acoustic resonance.

Read the full article here.

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January I-Corps @ UC Berkeley: Wrap Up

Last month’s NSF I-Corps wrapped with an intrepid team of UC Berkeley undergrads, a UCSF professor & beloved Berkeley Haas #EMBA + National I-Corps alum, founder Lida Kourita. 😍

The team is focused on improving sleep for adolescents and conducted 15 interviews, including one with 🐻 professor & author of the excellent ‘Why We Sleep’, Matthew Walker.

How can one week & 15 interviews change your startup? Apply by midnight 2/11 for our upcoming cohort & find out! https://cutt.ly/xOOjqXR🚀🚀

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December I-Corps @ UC Berkeley: Wrap Up

December I-Corps wrapped with 16 teams across two cohorts, including a quarterly Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Center (LSEC) edition. 🎯🎯

HOPO Therapeutics gained new insights along with a surprise or two as they dug deeper into understanding the ecosystem around lead poisoning. Comprised of a Haas MBA/MPH student + a recent Berkeley Labs postdoc, HOPO is an awesome example of how the UC Berkeley ecosystem is connecting to tackle the world’s biggest challenges. 🐻💪

How can I-Corps help you change the world? Apply by Jan 7 for next month’s cohort & find out. 🚀


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October I-Corps @ UC Berkeley: Wrap Up

October I-Corps is a wrap!

Berkeley Haas EWMBA 24 Debra Goodson & her sister Stacey, faculty @ UCSF conducted 20 interviews during the week, refining their business thesis as well as gaining a much better understanding of their potential customers’ true pain points.

What can our free, 3-evening/1-week course do to power your STEM venture? Apply by Fri, 10/15 & find out!

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September I-Corps @ UC Berkeley: Wrap Up

September I-Corps wrapped with strong cohort, including Aepnus Technology, helmed by a UC Berkeley PhD student and a postdoc.

Aepnus Technology Inc. is solving the problem of scarcity of critical battery minerals by synthesis. Over the course of one week and 16 interviews, they were able to narrow their customer segments from six to three and refine value propositions for all. They’re headed to Nationals–we can’t wait to see what happens next!

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August I-Corps @ UC Berkeley: Wrap Up

Wrapped August I-Corps with incredible teams working on high impact projects, relevant for right now. 💪

Two University of California, Berkeley postdocs through the PostX program conducted 16 interviews during the week for their Wildfire Urban Interface (WUI) evac planning solution.

Team WUIgo invalidated their initial hypos around who the customer would be. After mapping out the ecosystem and validating new hypos, they’ve discovered a better, first customer segment and plan to dig much deeper. 💪

What can one week of NSF I-Corps do for your STEM or Life Sciences venture?

Apply by 8/27 to find out! https://cutt.ly/6Wu2JG9

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1st 150 National I-Corps Teams: Longitudinal Study Key Findings

Check out a 5-min video abstract, with Steve Blank (!), summarizing research on WHY learning/applying Lean Startup methodology is superior to advising models, listening to founder war stories, focusing solely on mindset, etc.

3 key findings from this longitudinal study of the first 150 National Science Foundation (NSF) #ICorps teams. The research was funded by our very own Bay Area Node grant–there are now 2000+ National teams.

1. Methodology works as expected.

2. MBAs steeped in “Learning by Thinking” methods often resist “lean methods”, but can use them effectively–generating more insights & new ideas than non-MBAs. 💪

3. Customer interviews inspire new ideas that would not surface, otherwise.

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July I-Corps @ UC Berkeley: Wrap Up

NSF I-Corps July wrapped with a Berkeley Haas alum & VA Tech team, Battery Twin.

Sal Parsa, MBA 18 is a UC LAUNCH & Skydeck (invested cohort) alum, now with BCG. He’s still using his superpowers to help aspiring entrepreneurs. 💙

Battery Twin conducted a whopping 23 interviews in 7 days, clarifying value props for their target customer segments. They’re now applying for the National I-Corps program (100 interviews, 7 weeks, $50k grant for customer discovery).

What can I-Corps do for your STEM venture? Apply by 8/27 for the September cohort (9/13, 15 & 20) to find out! In addition to the regular short course, we’re offering a special life sciences edition taught by National I-Corps instructor and newly minted Berkeley Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Center (LSEC) Executive Director, Darren Cooke.


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April I-Corps @ UC Berkeley: Wrap-Up

Wrapped up April NSF I-Corps with outstanding teams from across the country!

UCSF fielded the largest team with PI Aaron Kornblith & Blackstone LaunchPad Director Jeni Janci pushing the team to 17 interviews in a single week. Their biggest surprise? Learning what their colleagues really think…and gaining new insights to support their mission.

What can our one week course do for your startup? Apply by 4/23 for May (5/10, 12, 17).

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National Team Intropic Materials in UC LAUNCH

Meet the UC LAUNCH Accelerator Spring 21 cohort teams!

Aaron Hall founded Intropic Materials while finishing his PhD in Materials Science & Engineering at UC Berkeley. Intropic is developing high performance self-degrading plastics that last exactly as long as they are needed. 🐻💪

Learn more about their journey through last Fall’s NSF I-Corps National program and where they’re headed next.

What can NSF I-Corps do for your #STEM startup? Apply for our upcoming April cohort & find out! https://cutt.ly/8l96Q5w.

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