Two recent graduates from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis are receiving much deserved recognition this week. Andrew Brimer and Abigail Cohen, the force behind Sparo Labs, won the $150,000 CIMIT Student Technology Prize for Primary Care, which brought their total winnings from competitions to over $275,000.
They represent the first undergraduate team to win this prize in the contest’s history, defeating graduate and post-doctoral teams from the likes of MIT, University of California-Berkeley, and Johns Hopkins. Clifford Holekamp, director of the school’s entrepreneurship platform, commented, “It is an amazing accomplishment that Abby and Andrew have managed to fund their seed round entirely through competition winnings. Working as a team, they have combined creativity with discipline and determination. The results are showing us all what is possible.”
This latest prize is in addition to seven others, including an Arch Grant, the Olin Cup, and the School of Engineering’s Discovery Competition. And they’re putting these winnings to good use. Sparo Labs is a med-tech startup developing a spirometer system at a fraction of the cost of current models today. Their design also seamlessly connects with smartphones through applications and the mobile web.
With this device, they’re hoping to revolutionize how respiratory diseases are managed by proactively and quantitatively tracking asthma, giving doctors the power of objective and real-time data to better manage their patient’s health. You can learn more about how their device works in the video below.
Sparo Labs is located in the T-REx building in downtown St. Louis with many other exciting startups and continue to work closely with the Washington University community as well. “Washington University’s focus on entrepreneurship has allowed us and other students the ability to get valuable feedback and funding to help turn ideas into viable companies with large potential for impact,” said Cohen.
If the list of accolades is any indication, Sparo Labs is well on their way to making a significant impact with their patent-pending device.