Cummins: The VCardio company was developed out of the University of Louisville by mechanical engineering professor Dr. Eric Berson and cardiologist Dr. Shahab Ghafghazi.
I am an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UofL’s Office of Research and Innovation, as is Josh Nickols. Josh and I identified this technology and these inventors as a good potential opportunity. Along with Dr. Berson and Dr. Ghafghazi, Josh and I have been working together for the last year or so to continue to develop the technology and begin the commercialization process.
LF: What is the tech behind it?
Cummins: So what we are developing is a real-time non-invasive assessment of coronary stenosis. Coronary stenosis is when you have a blockage in a coronary artery and it won’t let the blood flow well enough. This causes a heart attack. The most common solution for that is to place a stent.
We have a software application that can use two flat angiograms to create a 3D model. We can then run computational fluid dynamics to provide binary guidance for interventional cardiologists to use in stent placement. It tells them whether you need a stent or you don’t need a stent. [Computational fluid dynamics is a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical analysis and data structures to analyze and solve problems that involve fluid flows.]
LF: What is the advantage of VCardio’s tech?
Cummins: It replaces an existing invasive, expensive and somewhat risky process called fractional flow reserve (FFR) that uses a wire to run through a catheter and then through the artery in question. This provides guidance to the cardiologist. Our application would fit seamlessly into the workflow to replace that process. The technology is faster, easier, cheaper, and less risky than the FFR procedure.
"Sometimes we like an idea so much, we jump on it ourselves and start a company around it."
— Jeff Cummins, Entrepreneur-in-Residence
LF: How does the tech transfer process happen?
Cummins: So for the average person can go to the University of Louisville's Tech Transfer office and talk to the technology managers who can tell you about developing technologies. It is Josh’s and my job (as well as Alice Shade, another Entrepreneur-in-Residence) to act as part-time consultants. We help take the intellectual property from the university and commercialize it.
We are exposed to different technologies being Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. If someone has developed a technology and wants to continue their work, we facilitate introductions to those who can help them with funding. Sometimes we like an idea so much, we jump on it ourselves and start a company around it.
VCardio is currently seeking seed funding to acquire data and improve the speed and efficiency of our computational fluid dynamics modeling.
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How will data change your trajectory in 2021?
Last year (it's so nice to write that), Flyover Future launched its inaugural Innovators Podcastwith Microsoft's Future of Work Initiative in Louisville. Each episode shares stories from experts at the forefront of data and artificial intelligence. Listen to gain valuable insight and inspiration for your own data strategy. Your next big idea is one podcast episode away!
Clover Learning, an online healthcare education pioneer, has received a $250,000 investment from Render Capital. Clover Learning creates online, video-based training, exam prep, and continuing education products and services to diagnostic imaging students and professionals.
Louisville's Slingshot, a software development company, has developed an app for MetLife Pets that makes it easy to understand and access the often-complicated world of pet insurance. The app lets policy-holders quickly and easily create a claim for their pets, track those claims, and see how much of their benefit or deductible they’ve used.
The first rule of 'Flight' Club
Another group is working to prepare students for future work. Flight Club 502 is a local aviation group based in Bowman Field. The goal of the group is to encourage students to become successful while incorporating aviation and STEM subjects and to teach entrepreneurship. Click here for more information.
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ON OUR RADAR
How will you connect to Louisville's innovation ecosystem in 2021?
Louisville Future created the Innovation Radar so you have a resource to track and connect to the most innovative companies and people in our region. Here are few links to find essential information from the radar:
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Photo credit Carmichael's
This is the story of a family-owned business that has become a beloved fixture of our city: Carmichael’s Bookstore. The store, which started off at the corner of Bonnycastle and Bardstown road, was founded by Carol Besse and Michael Boggs in 1978, and has been operated by them ever since.
In 1983, the store was moved a stone’s throw away to the corner of Bardstown Road and Longest Ave. In 1994, when Heine Brothers Coffee opened their first location in the same building and other shops and restaurants arrived, Carmichael’s became a neighborhood gathering place.
A second store was opened in Crescent Hill in 1999 and in 2014, Carmichael’s Kids was opened. All locations buzz with activity now and are a big part of, as the owners say, “lively streetscapes that are never darkened by the shadow of a big box store.”
AROUND THE REGION
We hope you enjoy these headlines from the latest issue of Flyover Future, chronicling innovation throughout the Midwest. If you'd like to subscribe to Flyover Future, click here.