Take a Leap.
Recent student and faculty early- mid- and late-stage ventures
HIV/AIDS Network for Disaster Survivors (HANDS)
Gillings Innovators: Lauren Fidelak (MPH Health Behavior 2024) and Cotie San (MPH Health Equity 2o23)
Every year, the southern United States experiences devastating hurricanes and other climate disasters, scattering residents in unfamiliar cities and states across the region. Research shows that mass evacuation events lead to poor health outcomes and massive indirect healthcare costs. For people living with HIV (PLWH), who rely on daily medication to maintain their health, the urgency of accessing care is amplified. Despite this demonstrated need, PLWH continue to experience severe disruptions in care when they evacuate. The HIV/AIDS Network for Disaster Survivors (HANDS) connects people living with HIV to necessary resources following evacuation from climate disasters. HANDS was founded by two students at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health: Lauren Fidelak and Cotie San The HANDS team is currently meeting with stakeholders across the region to build out a response network for the upcoming 2023 hurricane season.
Updates/Awards: First Place at Gillings School Pitch Competition
Gillings Innovator: Dr. Sean Sylvia (Health Policy and Management)
Drs. Sean Sylvia (Gillings School), Joe Tucker (School of Medicine) and Diane Pozefsky (College of Arts and Sciences) created a platform, CollectiveGoodDx, that uses behavioral insights and crowd intelligence to improve diagnostic skills and scale access to care. First they are tackling a diagnostic skill training platform for medical school and residency programs, a need identified by both students and administrators. Their long-term vision is broad — the platform can serve as a tool for clinician consults to solicit peer/specialist advice and as a cost-effective source of second opinions for patients.
Updates/Awards: Completed NSF I-Corps Regional Program, First in Venture Studio, and Venture Catalyst Program; Awarded Kickstart Venture Services grant-writing award
Gillings Innovator: Dr. Orlando Coronell (Environmental Sciences and Engineering)
Drs. Orlando Coronell (Gillings School) and Frank Leibfarth (College of Arts and Sciences) developed a material to remove per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS), or “forever chemicals”, that have accumulated in drinking water and can lead to serious health issues. Initial testing showed the material outperforms current technology in PFAS removal. The team is now working to de-risk and scale the technology.
Updates/Awards: Completed NSF I-Corps Regional Program and Awarded Kickstart Venture Services grant-writing award
Gillings Innovator: Christopher Westgard (Doctoral student, Maternal and Child Health)
Elementos is a global non-profit research institute with the aim of supporting program planning and implementation of public health programs worldwide. Elementos provides expertise to governmental and non-governmental organizations to improve implementation and impact of their programs. The team at Elementos specialize in implementation science, community-based participatory research, quality improvement, adaptation, scale, and monitoring and evaluation. Recent projects have included support for community health worker programs for child health in Peru, Brazil and China, a mHealth program to address COVID in India, and quality improvement in maternity clinics in the US. Funding is provided by direct grants or subcontracted as a consultancy service.
Equiti Foods (formerly Good Bowls)
Gillings Innovators: Alice Ammerman, Founder (Mildred Kaufman Distinguished Professor, Nutrition), Alice Lu, Operating Manager (MPH, Health Equity, 2022)
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. They have expanded into direct-to-consumer and retail markets – including grocery stores and university campuses and have sold over 8,000 bowls.
Updates/Awards: Projected to sell 70,000 good bowls in 2023; Awarded STTR Phase I and Phase II funding, a USDA LFPP grant, over $2 million dollars in total funding
Conflict of Interest Disclosure: Dr. Alice Ammerman, director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, founded and has equity ownership in Equiti Foods, LLC (formerly Good Bowls, LLC). This relationship has been disclosed to and is under management.
Gillings Innovators: Emily Newman (MPH, Health Behavior, 2020), Kathryn Carpenter (MPH, Health Behavior, 2020)
(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
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 launched their first genetic test, Genate™; the first comprehensive prenatal genetic nutrition test helping mothers understand how their own genes influence the nutrition they share with their babies, in Q4, 2022. They are 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.
Switchback Gear Collective
Gillings Innovators: Masters students – Abigail Nelson (President), Chloe Coletta (VP), Sara Green (Treasurer), Rachel Ear, Joanne Johnson, Amy Kryston, Jing Murray, Sierra Brantz
Switchback Gear Collective is a community-based non-profit outdoor gear exchange program serving the Triangle area of North Carolina. Switchback was founded by a group of eight women from the UNC Masters in Public Health program who envision a future where experiencing the outdoors is accessible, inclusive, safe, and affordable for all people.
Updates/Awards: Third Place and People’s Choice Award at Gillings School Pitch Competition
|Company Website||Company||Date of Legal Structure||Founding School||Additional Founding Schools or Programs||Description|
|Antioch Builds Community||Antioch Builds Community||4/18/05||Gillings School of Global Public Health||At ABC, Inc. we offer a wide variety of programs to help identify needs in the Durham community and respond with compassion through collaboration, support, and education.|
|Advanced Nutrigenomics||Advanced Nutrigenomics||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Implementing precision nutrition and nutrigenetic testing at the next level|
|Aquagenx LLC||Aquagenx||2012-05-11 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||College of Arts & Sciences; Institute for Convergent Science||Aquagenx 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.|
|Cat Tales Cat Cafe||Cat Tales Cat Cafe||2018-02-22 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Cat 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!|
|Carpe||Carpe||2014-12-01 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||College of Arts & Sciences; Institute for Convergent Science||Clutch Lotion is an antiperspirant hand lotion that keeps your hands fresh, clean, and sweat-free all day.|
|Cervu||Cervu||6/30/22||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Cervu is a health care startup working to create pelvic floor physical therapy tool to help female cancer survivors and their physical therapist and doctors manage chronic pelvic pain and dyspareunia (pain with sexual intercourse).|
|Collective Good||Collective Good||6/8/22||Gillings School of Global Public Health||CollectiveGoodDx is a digital platform that uses collective intelligence to provide diagnostic support for the health sector.|
|Connexus Strategic Solutions||Connexus Strategic Solutions||2/16/21||Gillings School of Global Public Health|
|Counter Tools||Counter Tools||2012-06-28 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Institute 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 LLC||Couplet Care LLC||2018-07-02 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||The new bassinet addresses the shortcomings of hospital infant bassinets by improving access and safety, promoting mother-infant bonding, and reducing nursing staff burden|
|Dojo Fresh, LLC||Dojo Fresh, LLC||9/22/20||Kenan-Flagler Business School||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Dojo Fresh produces a plant-based food mix that enables users to easily make a protein-rich meat alternative product to their taste. Our goal is to make meatless meals easy, healthy and enjoyable.|
|Durham Volunteer Doulas||Durham Volunteer Doulas||2018-08-10 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Connecting volunteer birth doulas to women with low-resources who want a birth doula in the Triangle area.|
|Earthseed Land Cooperative||Earthseed Land Cooperative||7/16/13||Gillings School of Global Public Health||"MISSION: To remember and reimagine our relationship to ourselves, each other and the land in pursuit and practice of collective liberation." (website, 7/7/2022)|
|Equiti Foods LLC||Equiti Foods LLC||2018-06-22 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Equiti Foods increases healthy food access in low income communities and improves market opportunities for local farmers and retailers.|
|Everybody Eats Agronomics LLC||Everybody Eats Agronomics LLC||2015-09-25 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Focuses 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.|
|Green Wavv L.L.C.||Green Wavv, Green Wavv L.L.C.||5/24/19||Gillings School of Global Public Health||An aquaponics urban farm that reduces food deserts in cities.|
|Healthy Bytes Inc||Healthy Bytes Inc||2013-11-14 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||A 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 World||Healthy Girls Save the World Inc||2013-10-15 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Not-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 Gardens||HOPE Gardens||2013-11-04 00:00:00||College of Arts & Sciences||Applied Physical Sciences; Gillings School of Global Public Health; Institute for Convergent Science||HOPE Gardens is a not-for-profit business operating an urban farm that serves the Chapel Hill-Carrboro, NC area.|
|Jump Ahead||Jump Ahead||2/11/20||Gillings School of Global Public Health||College of Arts & Sciences||Jump Ahead combines jump rope with the success of nutrition education to foster positive health behavior change in school-aged children.|
|LocalRoots Compost Inc.||LocalRoots Compost Inc.||5/26/21||Kenan-Flagler Business School||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Full Circle provides closed-loop solutions for local food economies by procuring affordable composting solutions for restaurants.|
|MyHealthEd Inc||MyHealthEd Inc||2016-08-17 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||MyHealthEd'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 Carpenter||Newman Carpenter||2020-07-01 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||We are a creative agency that works with organizations to impact health behavior change. We combine science and art to deliver impact.|
|Plex Diagnostics Inc||Plex Diagnostics Inc||2013-03-21 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Institute 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.|
|Pregistry||Pregistry||1/7/2014||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Pregistry 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.|
|Producktive LLC||Producktiv LLC||2018-05-25 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Producktiv empowers knowledge workers to enhance productivity so they can crush it at work while making more time for what matters most.|
|Q Squared Solutions LLC||Q Squared Solutions LLC||4/27/20||Gillings School of Global Public Health||A joint venture of IQVIA (formerly QuintilesIMS) and Quest Diagnostics, Q2 Solutions combines the best of each parent organization?s clinical trials laboratory services capabilities to fulfill its mission of treating each sample as if a life depends on it.|
|Seal the Seasons||Seal the Seasons Inc||2014-06-18 00:00:00||College of Arts & Sciences||Gillings School of Global Public Health; Institute for Convergent Science||Seal 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.|
|Shifra||Shifra||2016-12-30 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||The 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.|
|Advance Access & Delivery||Advance Access & Delivery||2015-06-23 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||AA&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 Partnership||Community Nutrition Partnership||2009-07-29 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||The 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 LLC||Food Insight Group LLC||2016-11-07 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Food 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 LLC||Global Citizen LLC||2011-01-25 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Global 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 LLC||Global Health Equity Intelligence Collaborative LLC||2014-12-04 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Global Health Equity Intelligence Collaborative, which also operates under the name GHEIC, is located in Durham, NC, and provides online and technology consultation services.|
|Ipas||Ipas||1973-10-05 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Ipas 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 Inc||IQVIA Holdings Inc||2016-10-03 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||IQVIA is a world leader in using data, technology, advanced analytics and expertise to help customers drive healthcare - and human health - forward|
|Monuts LLC||Monuts LLC||2011-09-21 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||College of Arts & Sciences||Monuts 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 Inc||NoviSci Inc||2014-05-20 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Eshelman School of Pharmacy||NoviSci 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 Eve||PHE Inc / Adam & Eve||1982-06-23 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||PHE is a marketing, sales, and distribution company in the adult products/sex education field.|
|Pillar Consulting Group||Pillar Consulting Group||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Pillar 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.|
|Population Services International||Population Services International||1970-01-22 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Population Services International (PSI) is a global nonprofit organization focused on the encouragement of healthy behavior and affordability of health products.|
|Project Lazarus||Project Lazarus||2007-10-26 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Project 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 Inc||Quark Matrix Inc||2012-05-24 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Quark Matrix offers data warehousing, business analytics, advanced visualization, statistical analysis, and predictive analytics to businesses using portal solutions customized for health care.|
|Railcare Health||Railcare Health||2017-05-12 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Established 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.|
|Remedy Alliance For The People||Opioid Safety and Naloxone Network Buyers Club, Remedy Alliance||9/12/22||Gillings School of Global Public Health||"We ensure harm reduction programs have sustainable & equitable access to low-cost naloxone for distribution in their communities." (Remedy Alliance/For The People website, 8-2-22)|
|Rho Inc||Rho Inc||1984-10-24 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Chapel 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 LLC||SciMetrika LLC||2001-12-14 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Our 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.|
|SNP Therapeutics LLC||SNP Therapeutics LLC||2018-08-24 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Institute for Convergent Science; Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center (LCCC)||GENE-GUIDED NUTRITION: Individualized Healthcare, Personalized Nutrition|
|Sorbenta||Sorbenta, Inc.||8/29/22||College of Arts & Sciences||Gillings School of Global Public Health|
|Spiro Collective||Spiro Collective||2014-10-20 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Happy Healthy Human offers corporate wellness coaching including yoga instruction and nutrition advice.|
|Startup High Country LLC||Startup High Country, LLC||2016-02-19 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||SHC'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.|
|Switchback Gear Collective||Switchback Gear Collective||2022||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Switchback Gear Collective is a community-based non-profit outdoor gear exchange program. our mission is to reduce barriers to outdoor activities by providing (1) equitable access to low- to no-cost outdoor gear, (2) opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in outdoor recreation and safety, (3) build community around the importance of movement for physical and mental health, and (4) promote sustainable outdoor recreation in the Triangle area of North Carolina.|
|SynchroHealth LLC||SynchroHealth LLC||3/4/20||School of Medicine||Gillings School of Global Public Health||SynchroHealth, LLC's mission is to develop hardware and software solutions for non-invasive detection and aquation of home-based longitudinal healthcare data using remote, Bluetooth low energy (BLE) enabled technologies for synchronous and asynchronous feedback. Our first product, BandPass, is a remote-sensing BLE resistance exercise band that closes the gap between clinicians and patients by providing clinically relevant data on compliance and use of exercise training and real-time, bi-directional feedback. Remotely acquired healthcare data provides insights to patients and healthcare providers that can have monumental impacts on the quality of care. SynchroHealth, LLC aims to develop hardware and software solutions for non-invasive detection and acquisition of remote healthcare data using Bluetooth Low Energy-enabled (BLE) technologies.|
|Throne LLC||Throne LLC||2013-02-06 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Kenan-Flagler Business School||The 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 Collaborative||Upstream Works Collaborative||2018-05-21 00:00:00||Gillings School of Global Public Health||Upstream 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.|
|LiRA Global||LiRA Global||Gillings School of Global Public Health||UNC School of Medicine, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC & NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering||LiRA 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.|
|wicker&wildflower||wicker&wildflower||3/17/21||3/17/21||wicker&wildflower creates beautiful picnics outdoors for safe gatherings with loved ones.|