AxisMED is a biomedical pre-incubation program intended to fill the gaps between a university’s academic resources and entrepreneurial accelerator programs by connecting students through interdisciplinary teams and the tools necessary to navigate early-stage medical ventures. AxisMED’s program strengthens UIUC’s existing entrepreneurship ecosystem by establishing a new, accessible entry point for students to gain experience in medical entrepreneurship and innovation before pursuing further acceleration.
First Cohort Success Stories
Ferritiva: Serum Ferritin Analysis for Anemic Athletes
Ferritiva develops accessible devices that screen for iron deficiency so that everyone can live a healthy life.
Nephra: Non-Invasive at-Home Kidney Health Monitoring for Patients on Dialysis
Nephra is engineering machine learning models to non-invasively quantify potassium levels for patients on dialysis.
Meet the Founders
In August 2020, four students from the Class of 2024 banded together to forge a new pathway for entrepreneurial education at the new Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Many students starting at Carle Illinois have little or no experience in starting ventures. These four students (listed from top to bottom), Al Smith, Diana Wu, Alex Teague, and Ariana Barreau, were driven to support early education for students interested in entrepreneurship and design. With experience in several startups, curricular development, the Saint Louis Incubator and Accelerator landscape, and the Stanford Biodesign Program, this team set out to create a new incubator intended for Phase 1 medical students, undergraduate students, and graduate students from Carle Illinois College of Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. AxisMED began to take shape, and hosted their first full-cohort in 2021-2022 with four teams. Ferritiva and Nephra, two teams that underwent incubation with AxisMED, have achieved widespread success across our campus community, raising over $50,000 in funding each so far.
The AxisMED Program follows the academic curriculum, starting in the Fall and ending in the Spring. The Program compresses the Stanford Biodesign Process into an 8-month program with five Design Review checkpoints. Between Design Reviews, there are Longitudinal Programs and AxisMED-hosted Workshops.
Events where teams pitch their ideas to professionals working in Medicine, Engineering or Business. Critique is often given in a "Shark-Tank" style.
AxisMED has partnered with several UIUC programs to collaborate on key development programs, including the I-Corps Lean Launchpad, Siebel Center for Design, and other student-run incubator programs.
AxisMED developed several Biodesign inspired talks to support critical moments in the entrepreneurial design process.
AxisMED's leadership is proud to be student-developed and student-run. Our organization believes that peer-to-peer mentorship is a key to success in medical innovation and entrepreneurship. The leaders come from broad backgrounds, including medicine, engineering, and business, and all have experience in R&D teams in industry or in startups of their own.
Lisan Smith, PhD
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