Jan 31, 2022

Science Venture Studio Announces Spring 2022 Commercialization Cohort

Startup Junkie, which oversees The Science Venture Studio (SVS) has hired three talented students from the University of Arkansas as Commercialization Fellows for the Spring 2022 semester. Each student has been paired with an early stage science and technology company throughout the state to aid in market research, commercialization planning, and customer discovery as they prepare a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Grant with SVS. 

The following students were selected from a very talented pool of applicants. 

  • Ashley Fernandez Chiru, a Senior Biomedical Engineering student and a graduate of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s Venture Intern Program. 

    • “I wanted to be a commercialization fellow because I like the fast-paced entrepreneurial environment, and how important creativity and innovation mindset are in startups. I’m very excited to work with my assigned company and help them grow and thrive by contributing to a successful proposal for federal funding.” 

  • Alexa Dalluge, a Senior Mechanical Engineer and receiving a Minor in Project Management. Dallague, an entrepreneur herself, has aspirations for starting two companies that are related to construction and engineering. She has participated in the iCorps program and has served as a project lead for the McMillion Innovation Studio. 

    • “As an SVS Commercialization Fellow, I have the opportunity to connect and collaborate with budding entrepreneurs and offer support to bring their technology to the market.”

  • Julia Davis, a Senior in Business Management and has participated in multiple entrepreneurial programs at the UofA including: McMillion Innovation Studio, Venture Intern Program, Seed Funding Pitch Competition, Social Innovation Challenge, Enactus, NSF I-Corps, and S.A.K.E. 

    • “After working with 2 startups through the Venture Intern Program, I was eager to work with a startup once again. Through the Commercialization Fellows program, I hope to add lots of value to the startup I am working with and learn more about SBIR and STTR proposals.” 

“These students bring a lot of experience and understanding in entrepreneurship and commercialization because of their involvement in various entrepreneurial programs that the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Arkansas offers”, said Katie Thompson, Director of Science Venture Studio. “I am very excited about the opportunities that will evolve this Spring. This cohort is just beginning and the fellows have already given great support to the company that they have been paired with for the semester.”

About Startup Junkie: Located in Fayetteville, Startup Junkie is building entrepreneurial ecosystems in Northwest Arkansas through providing no-cost, one-on-one consulting; events, workshops, and programs; and access to capital and talent.

About Science Venture Studio: Supported by the Walton Family Foundation, the Science Venture Studio in collaboration with Innovate Arkansas, the Northwest Arkansas Council, University of Arkansas Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Startup Junkie aims to help Arkansas science- and technology-based startups apply for non-dilutive federal funding. The SVS team is composed of a grant specialist, advisor, commercialization fellows and technology mentors all with the passion for helping small science and technology businesses secure funding to develop their technology and grow their company.

About the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship: The Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation creates and curates innovation and entrepreneurship experiences for students across all disciplines. Through the Brewer Family Entrepreneurship Hub, McMillon Innovation Studio and Startup Village, OEI provides free workshops and programs — including social and corporate innovation design teams, venture internships, competitions, and startup coaching. OEI also offers on-demand support for students who will be innovators within existing organizations and entrepreneurs who start something new.