Cupp, who grew up in Oldham County, is the company’s CEO, while Bhimani, a New Albany native, is the CFO. Louisville Future caught up with them recently to learn more.
What does HiTRACE do and when will it be available?
Cupp: It’s a portable, noninvasive, patented device that detects THC (the main psychoactive compound in marijuana) on the breath in the last three hours. It’s a little early, but we’re hoping to commercialize this within the next couple of years.
So what’s happening now?
Cupp: We realize there are going to be significant legal challenges moving forward in commercializing this technology, so we just want to make sure this product is as accurate and reliable as possible. We’re continuing to refine the testing methodology and make it the most user-friendly device that we possibly can for the various segments we’re targeting.
How are you securing funding?
Bhimani: We’ve been primarily focused on the competition circuit. That’s a good way to raise non-diluted funding—a lot of money with no strings attached necessarily. You don’t have to worry about losing equity to any outsiders. We’re always open to VC money where we can find it, but we realize that there is also a lot of grant money from governments, so we’re looking into those avenues as well.
How did you land on this idea?
Bhimani: Phillip and I met in the entrepreneurship MBA program. Part of the curriculum is centered around starting a business. When we were looking at different technologies to bring to market, we came across this one on the UofL Commercialization EPI-Center website. The EPI-Center focused on commercializing technologies and inventions from labs that the professors run.
How else did being at UofL help?
Bhimani: Being in the entrepreneurship MBA program, we were able to leverage our university resources. They paired us up with a few law students from the Entrepreneurship Law Clinic, so we were able to get some legal guidance along the way. Our professors are well established and respected leaders in the entrepreneurship community within Louisville.
Speaking of the entrepreneurship community, what is the atmosphere like?
Bhimani: Everyone rallies around startups. Everyone’s kind of focused on the goal of seeing local companies succeed because that’s ultimately how the city will benefit in the long run.
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How are the GI Bill and EdTech connected?
If it wasn't for the GI Bill, Len Napolitano wouldn't be our guest on this week's Flyover Future Presents: Innovators podcast. Instead this U.S. Army veteran and EdTech pioneer (now CEO of Capture Higher Ed) talks with us about how data can align students with the right schools and schools with the right students. Join our hosts Ben Reno-Weber from Louisville’s Future of Work Initiative and our executive producer Brian Eichenberger, in a fascinating podcast on how data is redefining the way students find the best education options.
Researchers at the University of Louisville have collaborated on an effort to bring artificial intelligence to the hardware level. Other participants in the project included Purdue University, the University of California at San Diego, Argonne National Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the University of Iowa.
One key to this effort was to incorporate artificial “tree-like” memory into hardware at room temperature, something that’s never been done before. A tree structure of memory is the way we humans learn, organizing information into branches to help us retrieve it later.
The team taught the material to learn the numbers 0 through 9. If counting to nine doesn’t sound all that impressive, consider that the ability to learn numbers is a baseline test of AI.
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Altruis inks deal with California health centers
Altruis, a leading medical billing service headquartered in Louisville, has signed on to provide revenue cycle management services to the California Primary Care Association (CPCA) health centers. The CPCA represents 1,370 nonprofit community health centers serving more than 7 million patients per year. The centers include free clinics, rural health clinics, migrant health centers, Indian health service clinics, and family planning clinics.
Altruis manages what used to be called healthcare “billing” but today encompasses billing, claims, denials, accounts receivable management, payment posting, and other services collectively known as revenue cycle management (RCM).
“We are honored to be selected by CPCA to assist their members and improve the financial health of those organizations through improved RCM performance,” Altruis CEO Chris Caspar said in a statement.
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Norton innovative device takes on aortic valve disease
An innovative device has changed one man's fight against aortic valve disease.
When Clayton Bliss was a kid, he was diagnosed with aortic valve disease and aortic stenosis. He was initially told that he wouldn’t be able to play sports or exert himself.
Bliss went on to become an actor, and at 27, he was playing Papa Bear in Shrek the Musical at Derby Dinner Playhouse. But in July 2019, an annual heart checkup determined that the problem had escalated and surgery was in his future.
Norton Children’s Heart Institute offered Bliss a few options to choose from—including replacement of his aortic valve with a mechanical or animal version—but he chose a recent innovative approach.
Developed by J. Scott Rankin, MD, the HAART 200 Aortic Annuloplasty Device helps the aortic valve repair itself, no replacements needed. Bliss, who reports he’s feeling better than ever, said using his own tissue made more sense than having a valve replacement that would entail numerous complications and restrictions.
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TKT earns spot #20 on Inc. 5000
TKT and Associates, an HR firm specializing in diversity and inclusion, has earned a spot at No. 20 on the Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
TKT, which has 250 employees, increased revenue by 11,000% from 2016 to 2019. The Inc. ranking is the highest ranking ever achieved by a Black female founder, Tierra Kavanaugh.
Then tragedy struck. On April 30, Kavanaugh died unexpectedly of natural causes. Since then, her mother and co-founder, Sheila Kavanaugh, an executive VP with the company, has stepped in as CEO. Sheila Kavanaugh is determined to fulfill her daughter’s legacy.
Today, the company has over $4 billion in managed projects and counts Deloitte and Toyota among its clients.
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KNOW YOUR CITY
Have you checked your "Louis-Q" recently?
This week's questions:
What infamous find led to the Jeffersontown Gaslight Festival?
The Grisanti family brought three iconic restaurants to Louisville that bore the family name. Can you name the three restaurants that are, unfortunately, no longer here?
What professional football player was initially turned down in his college years by Notre Dame for being too skinny, but then went on to play college ball for UofL?