Engineering student startups selected for $15,000 Invent Penn State program

April 16, 2024

Editor’s note: A version of this article was first published in Penn State News 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Six Penn State startups, all of which were founded or co-founded by students in the College of Engineering, have been selected to participate in the 2024 Invent Penn State Summer Founders Program 

The Summer Founders Program — funded in part by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community & Economic Development — provides teams with a $15,000 grant to work on their startup full-time for 13 weeks over the summer at Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank.  

In addition to funding, Happy Valley LaunchBox provides participating student teams with mentorship, one-on-one coaching and 24/7 access to its space. Teams also will have access to a network of over 100 advisers and other program perks including server credits and field trips to visit and learn from Pennsylvania businesses.  

"This year’s Summer Founders Program has attracted some of the best teams from Penn State,” said Elizabeth Hay, Jack White Family Director of Happy Valley LaunchBox. “Choosing only six teams was hard because the competition was stronger than ever. We have some amazing founders in this group. They're tackling real customer problems with some seriously innovative solutions. We're ready to see what they will accomplish this summer!"  

A description of each startup is below:  

OfferPilot, founded by four students from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, uses AI to create resumes, build cover letters and recommend jobs, in order to help college students land the highest amount of job offers in the least amount of time. The startup team includes computer science majors Stephen Leshko, Omar Rady and Yajat Dewan, and computational data sciences major Omer Kandemir.  

Fourth State Therapeutics, founded by biomedical engineering doctoral candidate Ali Kazemi, develops cold plasma-based devices for biomedical applications. Their flagship product, Plasma Patch, is designed to treat dermatological conditions like acne, eczema and wound healing.  

Streamline Charging, founded by architectural engineering major Jonathan Smith, offers a patent-pending, electric vehicle charging solution. It helps lower the breakeven point for apartment owners by sliding a direct current charging station across multiple parking spaces.  

Bool LLC, founded by computer science major Nicholas Cole, creates live wait time predictions for bars, clubs and restaurants, allowing users to spend less time waiting in line, and more time having fun.  

Atlas Biotech, founded by biomedical engineering doctoral candidate Joshua Reynolds, is developing preclinical tests for drug discovery to bring better therapeutics to patients more efficiently. It specializes in oncology and is currently commercializing a drug screening platform that evaluates therapies for chronic myeloid leukemia and non-small cell lung carcinoma. 

Saveware, co-founded by computer science major Ryan Hokimi and Smeal College of Business student Brady Davidson, uses artificial intelligence to automate the sales tax refund process for businesses and tax firms. Its software identifies overpaid sales tax by mining through thousands of invoices, uncovering tax exemptions to save clients' money.


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