Finding quality education has presented a challenge to many communities struggling with under-funded schools and other obstacles. To solve this pressing issue, Expii came up with a mobile online platform able to deliver on-demand, affordable, personalized education.
“Our team developed a technological breakthrough with the potential to give everyone in the world their own personal teacher powered by artificial intelligence, and delivered through their smartphone at virtually no cost,” says Expii founder and Carnegie Mellon University associate professor Po-Shen Loh.
Expii plans to further develop its platform in collaboration with community organizations and educational institutions in Western Pennsylvania. The company currently works with the Remake Learning Network, a large group of people from many sectors dedicated to shaping the future of teaching and learning in the Pittsburgh region.
“At Expii, we are aiming to educate the world in a way that has never been done before,” says Andrea Janov, Expii’s director of operations. “UpPrize has helped connect us with so many like-minded people and companies right here in our own backyard, helping us lay the foundation to take over the world.”
HiberSense has made quite a name for itself in the short time since it spun out of the University of Pittsburgh Blast Furnace accelerator. As one of the first PGH Lab cohorts, the young company was given access to government buildings to test the efficacy of their smart climate-control system, which uses sensors to monitor and adjust the temperature from room to room. The HiberSense team also represented Pittsburgh before Congress at the first University Startups Demo Day. (No wonder they made the NEXTpittsburgh list of tech companies to watch this year.)
UpPrize marks a new direction for the HiberSense team, who believe their technology can help local nonprofits be more energy efficient and, as a result, save up to 40 percent on their utility costs.
“The competition has made the entire team super excited, has opened doors and shown us other avenues to grow the company,” says Daniel Mosse, who founded HiberSense along with his partners Jacob Kring and Brendan Quay. “Initially, we were focused on residential customers, and we have changed to being more inclusive.”
Each year, bedsores make the quality of life for millions of patients even more difficult by causing everything from discomfort to something as serious as amputation. The condition especially affects seniors in nursing homes, who are often bedridden for long periods of time. To help health care providers deal with this issue, Dr. Sanna Gaspard and her team at Rubitection created a device aimed at eliminating bedsores.
Inspired by stories like that of actor Christopher Reeve—who, nearly a decade after becoming paralyzed in a riding accident, died from a bedsore— Gaspard’s medical startup developed the Rubitect Assessment System (RAS), a high-tech device able to detect and monitor the condition. The RAS primarily targets patients with limited mobility and the country’s growing elderly population, which is expected to double over the next 15 to 20 years.
“Being [an UpPrize finalist] has served as validation of Rubitection’s work and its scalability in improving bedsore detection to support nurses and caregivers in bedsore reduction,” says Gaspard.
Gaspard and her team are currently completing clinical tests with the Vincentian Collaborative System and Baptist Health, two Pittsburgh-based long-term care facilities. Once it enters the market, the company believes the technology would provide an easy-to-use, low-cost solution to bedsores for local health nonprofits like UPMC and the Baptist Homes senior living communities.
The Impactful Technologies finalists will meet for the UpPrize Community Showcase on March 30 at the Senator John Heinz History Center.
Interested in learning more about this year’s UpPrize social innovation challenge? Read our feature about the competition’s Healthy Food Access finalists.