Where are they now? Stasis Labs: Most Innovative and Trojan Family Choice Award Winners, 2014 USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase
Not even a full year has passed since Stasis Labs won the Most Innovative and Trojan Family Choice awards at the 2014 USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase. Yet, the young biotech company lead by then-students Dinesh Seemakurty and Michael Maylahn is already vigorously laying the groundwork for the company’s low-cost health monitoring technologies to enter the global market.
Stasis Labs aims to provide affordable, modern healthcare to developing countries with its vital signs monitoring solution that combines custom hardware with a tablet-based patient chart and an online patient portal. The company expects to enter India hospitals to start testing its vitals monitoring solution by the end of 2015 — a big feat for a startup conceived by two biomedical engineering students who graduated only this year.
But the ongoing success and path forward for Stasis Labs could not have been possible without its co-founders winning two USC student competitions: second place at the USC Marshall School of Business Silicon Beach@USC and two honors at the 2014 USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase.
“The (USC Stevens Student Innovator) Showcase was definitely a big inspiration for us,” said Stasis Labs co-founder Michael Maylahn. “Doing well in two competitions gave us more confidence that we are really on to something.”
The Student Innovator Showcase allowed the young entrepreneurs to get direct feedback from innovation experts from the business and venture community. Answering questions and talking about their concept to Showcase attendees and judges gave the pair the knowledge to refine their work into the viable product Stasis Labs has today.
“By getting such a concentrated amount of feedback, it gave us a good starting point to continue developing and narrowing down what we wanted to do. It was one of the most helpful parts of the Showcase,” said Maylahn.
In addition to the valuable experience of participating, the Showcase awarded them early funding, as Stasis Labs won the $7,000 Most Innovative award, funded by the USC Stevens Center for Innovation and the Diem Shotwell Metcalfe Family Fund at the USC Marshall School of Business. Stasis Labs also was voted the Showcase favorite by attendees of Trojan Family Weekend, winning the $1,200 Trojan Family Choice Award, funded by USC Stevens and the Shotwell Metcalfe fund with a special gift by Dun and Bradstreet.
The Showcase prizes enabled Stasis Labs to build a demonstrable prototype that simulated their invention to potential investors, who then provided additional funds so the company could build the custom hardware for an actual working product.
“It allowed us to start our product development and raise actual investment capital. From a hardware standpoint that’s a really big deal,” said Maylahn.
“It’s the chicken and egg scenario. You need to have something built to raise money, but then you need money to build it. As college students we didn’t have the money to build the hardware,” he added.
Earlier this year, Stasis Labs was featured with 14 other companies across the U.S. in Inc. magazine’s annual list of Coolest College Startups. This fall, Stasis Labs will be 1 of 5 teams representing the U.S. in Beijing, China at the Global Grand Challenges Summit.
The next USC Stevens Student Innovator Showcase takes place October 23, 2015 from 9AM to 3PM. Applications to be in the Showcase are now being accepted online at http://stevens.usc.edu/events/student-innovator-showcase until September 27, 2015.
–By Peijean Tsai, USC Stevens, published September 9, 2015