Buckeye Engineering startups excel in Department of Defense innovation showcase

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Two startup companies with Ohio State University roots earned accolades and funding at the recent National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) Vector showcase.

ParaWave, launched by recent College of Engineering grads Adithya Ramaswami and Jack Murray, secured second place and $15,000. HDO Health, co-founded by Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Tanya Nocera, won third place honors and $10,000.

Adithya Ramaswami and Jack Murray with Parawave drone in Scott Lab courtyard
ParaWave's Ramaswami (left) and Murray

In September 2023, a cohort of 20 ventures were selected for their commercial innovations to address key national security focus areas including the war in Ukraine, strategic deterrence, and Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2).

ParaWave technology allows first responders and the government to improve decision making in emergency scenarios. Its AI-driven unmanned aerial system (UAS) plans autonomous missions and relays crucial information back to crew members on the ground. Learn more about ParaWave and its founders in a recent episode of our Enginuity Podcast.

HDO Health’s compact, portable junctional tourniquet device enables first responders and warfighters to provide life-saving medical care in the field. Even without medical training, warfighters can quickly apply the Journiquet™; it can be deployed within approximately 20 seconds in high-stress environments such as the battlefield, motor vehicle crashes and active shooter situations. Moreover, the device stays secure during patient transport, reducing blood loss during care.

“While specialized junctional tourniquets exist in the market, they require multi-step assembly, use of fine and gross motor movements, and have a high-rate of displacement during patient transport,” Nocera said. “Our big priorities with this device were quick application, use of gross motor skills only, and that it remains lightweight and compact, which is particularly important in the military setting.” Learn more about Nocera and HDO Health in our April 2023 article.

Tanya Nocera holding Journiquet device
Nocera

ParaWave, HDO Health and their counterpart ventures worked with the Department of Defense and private sector experts on the business fundamentals of generating dual-use ventures and on forming viable dual-use capabilities from the startups and their commercial technologies.

Throughout the program, the companies refined their dual-use business strategies. “We gained a thorough understanding of the government procurement landscape,” ParaWave’s Jack Murray shared. “In Vector, we built upon our understanding of acquisition processes, business planning, and compliance. This, paired with the program’s numerous networking opportunities, has equipped us to navigate the federal landscape and build opportunities for collaboration.”

During the final showcase event, the startups shared the product of their work throughout the cohort. The companies showed how their innovations can solve national security challenges to a range of military organizations and innovators.

“The technologies the companies shared at Showcase Day were incredibly impressive. I have no doubt in their potential to improve outcomes for service members and to address modernization priorities for the DoD at-large,” said Abigail Desjardins, NSIN venture portfolio director. “I am sure that we will be hearing more from the Vector cohort companies very soon.”

Murray, Ramaswami and Nocera each were featured in the College of Engineering’s 2023 Innovation Superstars collectible cards set.

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