Make An Impact

Did you know our students, faculty, and alumni are responsible for more than 55 active Gillings-affiliated startups?

Impact of Gillings-Affiliated Startups

(Metrics reflect fiscal year 2020 and exclude IQVIA/Quintiles)

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Recent student and faculty early- mid- and late-stage ventures

SNP Therapeutics: Precision Gene-Guided Nutrition

Gillings Innovator:  Steven Zeisel, Chair of Scientific Advisors (Kenan Distinguished Professor, Nutrition)

SNP Therapeutics is a new company exploring the role of genetics in precision nutrition. Originating from the research of Gillings researcher Steven Zeisel, the company plans to launch their first genetic test in Q4, 2021 and is poised to be a leader in the precision nutrition market segment thanks to the unique way they develop their genetic tests and algorithms to identify the genes/variants contributing to various health issues and disease, including Fatty Liver (NAFLD or IFALD), Male Infertility – Sperm Motility, Pregnancy – Prenatal Nutrition, and Muscle Wasting – Sarcopenia.

Read more about SNP Therapeutics

In recent years, the nutrition industry has been focused on personalized nutrition where different nutritional needs can be customized for the consumer to ensure a healthy diet. The NIH also initiated a new ten-year strategic plan with over $1.9B in funding to focus on precision nutrition research. One of the goals set by the NIH is to further explore how we can improve the use of food as medicine and utilize genetic research to identify sub-populations who are at risk for health issues. This initiative and the attention it will bring to both consumers and the nutrition industry will further accelerate the growth in precision nutrition. SNP Therapeutics, a new company which originated from the research of Steven Zeisel, MD, PhD, is exploring the role of genetics in precision nutrition. The company is poised to be a leader in the precision nutrition market segment mainly due to the unique way they develop their genetic test to identify the genetic patterns of variant genes that contribute to various health issues and disease. The company develops algorithms from data in human clinical studies to predict patients that are at risk for certain health issues who will respond to nutritional therapies. The key areas of focus for SNP Therapeutics are Fatty Liver (NAFLD or IFALD), Male Infertility – Sperm Motility, Pregnancy – Prenatal Nutrition, and Muscle Wasting – Sarcopenia.

The Company plans to launch their first genetic test in the Prenatal / Maternal Health category later in 2021 with companies from the nutrition industry that will provide sales and marketing for the test. These partner companies will position the SNPT Prenatal Test with their prenatal and lactation nutritional products launching a true precision nutrition approach.  The Company has benefited from early funding from Coddle Creek Capital; a North Carolina based Venture Company with a focus on early-stage life science and also from the Balchem Corporation which is a global nutrition ingredients manufacturing company. SNP Therapeutics has been awarded the Presidential Initiative Award from the NC Biotech Center which assisted the company in the development of the medical nutrition therapies for the first portfolio of products. The company is currently working with Hatteras Venture Partners to raise a priced round of funding to support the launch of their first genetic test. Future funding will be utilized to support company organizational growth including research (clinical studies) with the first being in Fatty Liver, (NAFLD). Therapies are being developed in the Fatty Liver market by several pharmaceutical companies and this market is expected to reach $40B in the next 5 years. 

There are many other disease states and disorders in metabolism that SNP Therapeutics plans to explore with their precision nutrition approach and the company is well positioned to start additional research for the next wave of genetic tests.


Equiti Foods (formerly Good Bowls)

Gillings Innovators: Alice Ammerman, Founder (Mildred Kaufman Distinguished Professor, Nutrition), Morghen Philippi, Chief Operating Officer (MPH, Global Health, 2021)

Founded by UNC Nutrition faculty member Alice Ammerman, Equiti Foods makes Good Bowls – frozen, healthy meals on a mission. In an effort to support the local food system and work toward food equity, Equiti Foods sources local ingredients, produces Good Bowls locally in Hillsborough, NC, and sells the bowls using a cost-offset model to ensure everyone has access to healthy, local food. Since incorporating in 2018, Equiti Foods has won NIH STTR Phase I and Phase II grants, a USDA LFPP grant, and secured over $2 million dollars in total funding. Equiti Foods has expanded into direct-to-consumer and retail markets – including grocery stores and university campuses – selling over 5,000 Good Bowls and growing quickly.

Instagram: @good_bowls


Gillings Innovators: Snigdha Peddireddy (MPH, Health Behavior, 2021), Gretchen Mason (MPH, Health Policy and Management, 2021)

mPOWER is a social venture designed to address the problems faced by community members with multiple chronic illnesses. The team wants to design a solution addressing two key issues they’ve identified through conversations with folks living with multiple chronic illnesses: 1) lack of peer support and 2) a lack of awareness of existing and relevant community resources. Peddireddy and Mason are dedicated to engaging community experts in every stage of the venture building process as co-leaders. They feel fortunate to take part in CUBE, UNC’s only accelerator focused on social innovation, this upcoming academic year. During the CUBE residency, the team will focus on co-creating a minimum viable product that can be tested alongside community experts. The end goal is to offer a community-based solution that drives health equity for those most impacted by chronic illness.

Updates/Awards: mPower has received awards and funding through: Carolina Center for Public Service (Service Partnership Mini-Grant), Carolina Challenge Makeathon (1st place – Early Digital Track), Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research Seed Grant, and the Gillings Student Research and Entrepreneurship Showcase (Best Student Venture).  They were also selected as part of the 2020-2021 Cube Cohort.  mPower has established connections with local community health workers and Piedmont Health (potential beneficiaries!) and are really looking forward to building on these relationships. mPower is also actively working on building a minimum viable product.

“The Gillings Office of Research, Innovation, and Global Solutions was instrumental in helping us connect with our community partner and giving us a path forward. With their help, we were able to refine our pitch and we look forward to continuing to work with them as we build our solution!”

Newman Carpenter, L.L.C.

Gillings Innovators: Emily Newman (MPH, Health Behavior, 2020), Kathryn Carpenter (MPH, Health Behavior, 2020)  

(L-R) Emily Newman and Kathryn Carpenter

(L-R) Emily Newman and Kathryn Carpenter

Newman Carpenter is a creative agency impacting health behavior change. Communicating health information has never been more important. We work with individuals and organizations across health issues and populations to create engaging, accessible health communication materials and tools to ensure that they don’t leave impact on the table. Founded by two public health practitioners with over a decade of prior experience in TV production, design, education, and linguistics, Emily Newman, MPH, and Kathryn Carpenter, MA, MPH, combine the theory and behavior change strategy of public health with high-quality design and engaging communication tools. They’ve worked with university centers, hospitals, clinics, researchers, and health departments to further impact. Follow the story of Emily Newman and Kathryn Carpenter on their public health entrepreneurial journey.

Updates/Awards: Launch Chapel Hill acceptance and funding, 1789 funding

“Gillings Innovation Lab served as connector and as support for our venture in its early stages. They helped us learn more about resources in the entrepreneurial ecosystem we could take advantage of and helped raise awareness of our venture.”


Gillings Innovator: Christopher Westgard (Doctoral student, Maternal and Child Health)

Elementos is a global non-profit research training institute, with the aim of training young researchers while improving policies and programs for public health.  Established in 2017, Elementos grew after Westgard was awarded principal investigator of a Grand Challenges Canada, Saving Brains grant which allowed him to pilot digital health tools to improve health promotion and surveillance, program evaluation of community health programs, and capacity building of rural health systems . Westgard returned to academia to obtain his doctorate in public health and receive training in implementation science and program design through the WHO Collaborating Center at UNC. He continues to build collaborations with universities and government agencies in Peru and internationally, to improve research capacity and public policies for the future of children in LMICs.

“The Innovation Office at Gillings has been extremely supportive and inspiring. I feel that I have a team in my corner that is cheering for me and providing me guidance to turn my ambitious ideas into reality.”


Home » LiRA Global

Gillings Innovators: Nga Nguyen (MPH, 2021)

LiRA partners with patients, caregivers and health systems to provide lip-reading technology that empowers voiceless individuals and advances quality medical care. Currently, LiRA is a growing startup company and social venture developing AI-based lip-reading technology that employs advancements in computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing. They aim to build a world where all communication is realized.

LiRA is made up of an interdisciplinary team of public health, medical, business, and tech professionals impassioned to redefine patient communication.

Awards: In 2020, LiRA took first place in the Gillings Pitch Competition. Read more about their success here.

Active Gillings School Affiliated Ventures

CompanyCompanyDate of Legal StructureFounding SchoolAdditional Founding Schools or ProgramsDescription
Advanced NutrigenomicsAdvanced NutrigenomicsGillings School of Global Public HealthImplementing precision nutrition and nutrigenetic testing at the next level
Aloha SocialAloha Social2017-09-02 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthAloha is an application for making a big community like a college campus feel smaller, reducing the fear of rejection and making it that much easier to start a friendly face-to-face interaction with someone in the same building as you.
Anansi SkillsAnansi Skills2019-01-18 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthCollege of Arts & SciencesAnansi uses an app platform to match students with teachers in their communities so that anyone can share and learn skills for free.Our goal is to allow people to teach what they love and learn whatever they desire.
Aquagenx LLCAquagenx2012-05-11 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthCollege of Arts & Sciences; Institute for Convergent ScienceAquagenx provides portable water-quality testing products that detect E. coli bacteria that are ideal for places with fewer resources like developing countries and emergecy/disaster areas.
Be Healthy Ministries IncBe Healthy Ministries, Inc.Gillings School of Global Public HealthWe are a Holistic Health Ministry, seeking to connect people with public health and safety resources, to promote health and reduce/prevent illnesses.
Cat Tales Cat CafeCat Tales Cat Cafe2018-02-22 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthCat Tales Cat Cafe is an aMEOWzing place to spend time in the company of adoptable cats. Guests can get to know the cats in a cage-free comfortable lounge. The low stress, free roaming environment lets the kitties be themselves. A win for adopters, a win for the kitties, and a win for overburdened shelters!
Circular TriangleCircular Triangle2021Gillings School of Global Public HealthCircular Triangle focuses on the implementation of a circular economy through initiatives, policy advocacy, and community awareness.
Clutch IncClutch Inc2014-12-01 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthCollege of Arts & Sciences; Institute for Convergent ScienceClutch Lotion is an antiperspirant hand lotion that keeps your hands fresh, clean, and sweat-free all day.
Counter ToolsCounter Tools2012-06-28 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthInstitute for Convergent Science; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC)Counter Tools is a not-for-profit business that provides training, software tools, and technical assistance to public health and disease-prevention organizations.
Couplet Care LLCCouplet Care LLC2018-07-02 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthThe new bassinet addresses the shortcomings of hospital infant bassinets by improving access and safety, promoting mother-infant bonding, and reducing nursing staff burden
DreamWork Consulting LLCDreamWork Consulting LLCGillings School of Global Public Health DreamWork Consulting, LLC provides a suite of essential consulting services for growing non-profit organizations, including executive coaching, strategic planning, board governance and information technology.
Durham Volunteer DoulasDurham Volunteer Doulas2018-08-10 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthConnecting volunteer birth doulas to women with low-resources who want a birth doula in the Triangle area.
Epidemico IncEpidemico Inc2007-10-26 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthSo you have a ton of unstructured data and want to extract insight. Or, you need to bring data into the cool analytics platform you have already built. We understand that your needs are unique, which is why we built a completely modular infrastructure allowing us to snap together components of our capabilities to provide you a tailored solution. We work with you to select from our capabilities, apply it to your specifications, then provide the output you need - whether it's a private API into which you can make unlimited calls, or a customized real-time visualization.
Equiti Foods LLCEquiti Foods LLC2018-06-22 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthEquiti Foods increases healthy food access in low income communities and improves market opportunities for local farmers and retailers.
Everybody Eats Agronomics LLCEverybody Eats Agronomics LLC2015-09-25 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthFocuses on urban farming and local farm produce aggregation in the Triad area with the goal of making fresh, healthy, local produce affordable while creating self-sufficient communities through farming and social entrepreneurship development.
Frame FertilityFrame FertilityGillings School of Global Public HealthDigital health platform that helps individuals plan ahead for fertility
Healthy Bytes IncHealthy Bytes Inc2013-11-14 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthA healthcare technology company offering a billing and client flow platform for dietitians, and includes a mobile application for clients to track eating and share with their dietitian.
Healthy Girls Save the WorldHealthy Girls Save the World Inc2013-10-15 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthNot-for-profit business fostering proper nutrition, physical activity, and overall healthful lifestyles for elementary school- and high-school-aged girls by organizing affordable community events.
HOPE GardensHOPE Gardens2013-11-04 00:00:00College of Arts & SciencesApplied Physical Sciences; Gillings School of Global Public Health; Institute for Convergent ScienceHOPE Gardens is a not-for-profit business operating an urban farm that serves the Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC area.
Jump AheadJump AheadGillings School of Global Public HealthCollege of Arts & SciencesJump Ahead combines jump rope with the success of nutrition education to foster positive health behavior change in school-aged children.
Life-improving VenturesLife-improving Ventures2010-10-11 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthInstitute for Convergent Science; Kenan-Flagler Business SchoolDevelops products and services around mentrual management that improve quality of life of women in low-resource communities in India.
MyHealthEd IncMyHealthEd Inc2016-08-17 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthMyHealthEd's vision is to improve health outcomes, and thereby educational outcomes, for students in rural communities by decreasing rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Newman CarpenterNewman Carpenter2020-07-01 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthWe are a creative agency that works with organizations to impact health behavior change. We combine science and art to deliver impact.
Persever8Persever82014-02-05 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthPersever8 uses technical training and life skills education to cultivate the potential of people with autism to obtain fulfilling jobs and live meaningful, independent lives.
Plex Diagnostics IncPlex Diagnostics Inc2013-03-21 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthInstitute for Convergent Science; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC)PleX Diagnostics is a clinical diagnostic development firm focused on cost-effective, multiplexed oncology diagnostics. The company's patent-pending technology combines serum biomarkers and a proprietary algorithm to predict presence of hepatocellular carcinoma, applicable across multiple types of cancer and useful for clinicians in predicting early carcinogenesis.
Producktive LLCProducktiv LLC2018-05-25 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthProducktiv empowers knowledge workers to enhance productivity so they can crush it at work while making more time for what matters most.
Seal the SeasonsSeal the Seasons Inc2014-06-18 00:00:00College of Arts & SciencesGillings School of Global Public Health; Institute for Convergent ScienceSeal the Seasons is a local frozen produce company that partners with small family farmers to freeze, market, and distribute locally grown produce. Seal the Seasons donates 20 percent of profits to make healthy affordable food available in food deserts.
ShifraShifra2016-12-30 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthThe mobile app provides refugees with fast answers to questions about pressing reproductive health needs. Users can search for information by location and/or language, and the app will connect them with accessible health-care services near their current location.
Quintiles Transnational Holdings IncQuintiles Transnational Holdings Inc1982-02-26 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthA global contract-research organization that is the world's largest provider of biopharmaceutical development and commercial outsourcing services to clients in the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific.
Advance Access & DeliveryAdvance Access & Delivery2015-06-23 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthAA&D is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that is working in solidarity with partners around the world to overcome barriers to high quality health care and medicines, particularly for economically and socially marginalized groups.
Community Nutrition PartnershipCommunity Nutrition Partnership2009-07-29 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthThe Community Nutrition Partnership is a Durham, NC-based business that uses market-based approaches to increase access to healthful, local food for people of all incomes and backgrounds.
Food Insight Group LLCFood Insight Group LLC2016-11-07 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthFood Insight Group (FIG) is a food systems consulting firm that works with partners like grocery retailers, school food programs, and other community institutions to promote health through carefully designed interventions and evaluation strategies that support better eating. With an emphasis on reducing health disparities in lower-income communities, FIG believes in addressing root causes of poor health through interventions at all levels of the food system.
Global Citizen LLCGlobal Citizen LLC2011-01-25 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthGlobal Citizen, LLC is a consulting firm that works in the U.S. and internationally to strengthen leaders' capacity and performance to advance public health, human rights and intercultural relations, effect social and organizational transformation and deliver mutually-beneficial, effective and high impact results for a better world.
Global Health Equity Intelligence Collaborative LLCGlobal Health Equity Intelligence Collaborative LLC2014-12-04 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthGlobal Health Equity Intelligence Collaborative, which also operates under the name GHEIC, is located in Durham, NC, and provides online and technology consultation services.
Health Decisions IncHealth Decisions Inc1989-01-25 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthHealth Decisions is a global clinical research organization that specializes in applying adaptive principles to both trial design and operations.
IpasIpas1973-10-05 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthIpas is a business dedicated to ending preventable deaths and disabilities from unsafe pregnancy termination. It works through local, national, and global partnerships to ensure that women around the world are able to obtain safe and comprehensive reproductive care including counseling and contraception.
IQVIA Holdings IncIQVIA Holdings Inc2016-10-03 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthIQVIA is a world leader in using data, technology, advanced analytics and expertise to help customers drive healthcare - and human health - forward
Management & Development Consulting IncManagement & Development Consulting, Inc.Gillings School of Global Public HealthManagement & Development Consulting, Inc. (M&D Consulting). aims to promote positive human development that integrates an equity perspective in international development and humanitarian programmes and fosters people-focused management.
Monuts LLCMonuts LLC2011-09-21 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthCollege of Arts & SciencesMonuts is a busy bakery and cafe located in Downtown Durham. Monuts takes an updated approach to the American breakfast and lunch, pairing bold ethnic flavors with seasonal and local ingredients.
NoviSci IncNoviSci Inc2014-05-20 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthEshelman School of PharmacyNoviSci seeks to accelerate learning and action from real-world health data through the development and application of tools to enable scalable, state-of-the-science causal inference, prediction, and visualization.
PHE Inc/ Adam and EvePHE Inc / Adam & Eve1982-06-23 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthPHE is a marketing, sales, and distribution company in the adult products/sex education field.
Pillar Consulting GroupPillar Consulting GroupGillings School of Global Public HealthPillar Consulting is your go-to consulting firm for rigorous, scientifically sound evaluation of your company's initiatives. Working closely with clients and stakeholders, we strive to understand your needs and work collaboratively to develop an evaluation framework that is both practical and feasible for your organization.
Polyglot Systems IncPolyglot Systems Inc2010-08-20 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthEshelman School of PharmacyPolyglot's award-winning software is designed to improve patient understanding, thereby improving health, reducing costs and increasing patient satisfaction. Polyglot's products have been licensed to hospitals, health systems, clinics, pharmacies and public health departments across the country.
Population Services InternationalPopulation Services International1970-01-22 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthPopulation Services International (PSI) is a global nonprofit organization focused on the encouragement of healthy behavior and affordability of health products.
Pregistry LLCPregistry LLC2014-01-07 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthPregistry provides pregnant and nursing mothers and their health care providers with the information they need to safely treat their medical conditions and ensure the best health outcomes for mothers and their babies.
Project LazarusProject Lazarus2007-10-26 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthProject Lazarus is a public health oriented non-profit organization established in 2008 in response to extremely high drug overdose death rates in Wilkes County, North Carolina (five times higher than the state average at that time).
Quark Matrix IncQuark Matrix Inc2012-05-24 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthQuark Matrix offers data warehousing, business analytics, advanced visualization, statistical analysis, and predictive analytics to businesses using portal solutions customized for health care.
Railcare HealthRailcare Health2017-05-12 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthEstablished since 2016, we are a free, mobile clinic that provides healthcare to the underinsured and uninsured in North Carolina. Using an interdisciplinary model, we are able to cater healthcare to serve the broadest range of patients.
Rho IncRho Inc1984-10-24 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthChapel Hill, NC-based Rho is a contract-research organization that provides clinical research services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, and to academic and government organizations.
SciMetrika LLCSciMetrika LLC2001-12-14 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthOur mission is to craft sustainable solutions for optimal health. We are proud of our comprehensive work in population health. SciMetrika provides clients with holistic solutions to identify, assess, implement, and evaluate health determinants, programs, and initiatives.
ScitoVationScitoVationGillings School of Global Public HealthWe help clients assess the safety of chemical compounds using innovative science, next-generation technology, and professional expertise.
SNP Therapeutics LLCSNP Therapeutics LLC2018-08-24 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthInstitute for Convergent Science; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC)GENE-GUIDED NUTRITION: Individualized Healthcare, Personalized Nutrition
Spiro CollectiveSpiro Collective2014-10-20 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthHappy Healthy Human offers corporate wellness coaching including yoga instruction and nutrition advice.
Startup High Country LLCStartup High Country, LLC2016-02-19 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthSHC's mission is to create more high-tech (high-paying) jobs and more growth investment opportunities for the residents of the high country. We're doing this by investing time, expertise, fresh ideas and money into existing and new startups.
The MindsparQThe MindsparQGillings School of Global Public HealthProviding project management training and professional development
Throne LLCThrone LLC2013-02-06 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthKenan-Flagler Business SchoolThe company's mobile application fills a gigantic void in the footwear industry by making it easy and seamless for us all to find the footwear we need or desire.
Upstream Works CollaborativeUpstream Works Collaborative2018-05-21 00:00:00Gillings School of Global Public HealthUpstream Works is a collaborative of contractors, freelancers, consultants, researchers, and people with bright ideas. We use our skills and expertise to support community initiatives that build creative and effective solutions to complex challenges.
The Ellie Helm FoundationThe Ellie Helm FoundationGillings School of Global Public HealthSupporting educational opportunities and positive life skills development for youth.
Promoting awareness of depression and preventing suicide among young adults.
Bringing joy, meaningful connections and social engagement to the elderly.
VenebioVenebioGillings School of Global Public HealthLife Sciences Research Consultancy
Water.orgWater.orgGillings School of Global Public has empowered more than 33 million people with access to safe water or sanitation. Access to safe water at home directly helps families in need prepare and protect themselves from this pandemic, because they can wash their hands and don't have to leave their homes to collect water.
Water EquityWater Equity Gillings School of Global Public HealthWaterEquity puts capital to work to deliver universal access to safe water and sanitation.
LiRA GlobalLiRA GlobalGillings School of Global Public HealthUNC School of Medicine, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC & NC State Joint Department of Biomedical EngineeringLiRA is made up of a multi-disciplinary group of professionals impassioned to partner with patients, caregivers, and health systems to provide lip-reading technology that empowers voiceless individuals and advances the standard of medical care.