Date June 16, 2022
Media Contact

Meet the B-Lab 2022 ventures: pop-up hospital infrastructure, sustainable shopping, Caribbean history and more

The Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship’s Breakthrough Lab accelerator supports 13 student ventures through an eight-week summer accelerator that advances personal and commercial development.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Though their academic interests, personal backgrounds and envisioned futures couldn’t be more disparate, more than twenty Brown and RISD students and recent graduates are uniting this summer to pursue a common goal: advancing their start-up ventures.

As part of Breakthrough Lab (B-Lab), an accelerator program at Brown’s Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, the students will spend eight weeks learning from mentors and educators, attending custom workshops and collaborating with a peer cohort of dedicated founders, all within a co-working space at the Nelson Center. Eligible participants also receive a $4,000 scholarly award, which B-Lab Director Jason Harry says makes the experience both more accessible and focused.

By removing financial pressures, participants are free to concentrate their efforts on accelerating their startups. But the fact that B-Lab operates within a nonprofit higher education institution immediately sets it apart from more commercial accelerators designed as pipelines for venture capital firms, Harry said.

“We certainly want ventures to make rapid progress, and they might become fundable ventures, but we never forget that it’s fundamentally an educational opportunity,” he said. “We really hold dear personal and professional development as much as venture development.”

Muram Bacare
Muram Bacare, right, a Class of 2022 RISD graduate, created Hos-fit-all, the the innovative design of a mobile modular negative pressure isolation room.

From personalized mentoring and networking opportunities to pitch presentations and industry-specific education, there’s no shortage of entrepreneurial knowledge to be gleaned through B-Lab. But Harry says there’s one lesson he’s sure to instill from the very first day: “I tell the students, ‘Ventures are fragile creatures. I want you to be comfortable with the reality that, from our perspective, you can succeed as a person even if your venture does not; you shouldn’t attach your self-esteem or self-worth to whether your venture succeeds.’”

This year’s cohort is one of the most diverse groups hosted to date at B-Lab, with students at varying stages of their academic trajectory across a wide spectrum of degree programs. And the ventures themselves address unmet needs in a range of market sectors: improving medication adherence, simplifying the client-lawyer matching process, e-commerce for handmade beauty products, and many others.

“Not only is there tremendous ethnic and gender diversity, which is absolutely essential, there’s also a very cool venture diversity,” Harry said.

As the cohort kicks off the next eight weeks of development, here’s a glimpse into the various ventures they’ll be working on, in the founders’ own words.


David Vojtaskovic, Class of 2024
Business Economics

Briefcase is a platform that aims to simplify and personalize the client-lawyer matching process. The platform helps both the client and the lawyer; clients seeking legal help often face inaccessibilities to the law including language and transportation barriers, and lawyers are overwhelmed with the time-sink of conducting pre-screening interviews with potential clients, many of whom are turned away. Briefcase’s goal is to make this difficult process efficient by custom-matching clients with their ideal lawyers based on case experience while accommodating for legal barriers, democratizing access to the law.


Tatiana Mandis, Class of 2023
History of Art and Architecture

Cinemates saves viewers time spent looking for movies and shows, serving as a trusted community-based recommendation service.

Codified Health

Sophia Ghauri, Class of 2024
Design Engineering of Health Care Systems

Hailey Chen, Class of 2024
Public Health and Business Economics

Cindy Zheng, Class of 2024
Applied Mathematics and Biology

Codified Health strives to help doctors focus on patients — not paperwork — by using AI to streamline the medical billing process. We offer a medical code recommendation system, documentation verification tool, and interoperable software that engages with all existing EHR platforms. In this way, we can ensure that claims are submitted promptly with faster payments, consistent compliance and billing data transparency.

COmmunity ADherence

Rose Engler, Class of 2022
Public Health

Loan Anh Tran, Class of 2022
Computer Science and Economics

COAD improves medication adherence by utilizing a revolutionary smart pillbox and a user-friendly mobile application that work together to remind, record and notify users to take their medication.


Abigail Perelman, Class of 2022
Cognitive Neuroscience

Suraj Zaveri, Class of 2023
Applied Mathematics and Computer Science

Shailen Sampath, Class of 2020
Biomedical Engineering

FollowUp aims to better connect individuals with Parkinson’s disease, their caregivers and their health care providers. We are developing an app to provide more complete information on a patient’s symptoms and day-to-day experiences to inform adjustments in medication and treatment timelines. This increased communication makes space for more directed and efficient health care that can best support individuals with Parkinson’s disease.


Maddie Jacks, Class of 2022
Masters of Design Engineering

Mark Araujo, Class of 2022
Masters of Design Engineering

There are tens of thousands of wonderful organizations that aim to solve some of the biggest issues with our food system, from food insecurity to food waste to degenerative agricultural practices. The trouble is that most of these nonprofits, especially the smaller ones, have a tough time obtaining and maintaining recurring funding. While young professionals in the U.S. are motivated by social causes and express interest in helping solve the problems above, they are often undereducated on the impact these issues have, lack awareness of these organizations aiming to solve them, and are overwhelmed by the barrage of requests for donations from organizations that they don’t know if they can trust. FRUITfull breaks down these barriers for donors in order to increase the volume and longevity of donations for small to mid-size food nonprofits. Through user-centered design, engaging impact visualization and AI-driven experiences, our platform provides a novel, customized and trustworthy service to donors.


Muram Bacare, Class of 2022 (RISD)
Architecture and Fine Art

Hos-fit-all is the innovative design of a mobile modular negative pressure isolation room that serves as a timely response to the challenges of health care infrastructure. The modular design is built using prefabrication construction methods and allows for the unit to be dismantled and individual modules recommissioned as clinics in remote and under-resourced communities that may not have access to adequate health care facilities. With a simple change of room settings and furniture, Hos-fit-all can be converted to food banks to address food insecurity, classrooms to address educational hardships resulting from remote learning, libraries to bridge the digital divide, and temporary housing units as a response to homelessness. The negative pressure technology is consistent across all programmatic functions, creating a healthy interior environment.


Maddy Noh, Class of 2022
Public Health and Anthropology

Otto Olafsson, Class of 2023
Public Health

Zoie Carter, Class of 2022
Public Health

Targeting missed appointments and transportation barriers, RideRx aims to provide an accessible, subsidized rideshare service to health care appointments and medication pickup for substance use patients in Rhode Island. We hope to pilot an on-call, door-to-door, shared “shuttle” system based on geographic proximity. We aim to center community members and stakeholders first and foremost in the design and implementation of services, to promote a welcoming environment of companionship and judgement-free zone for passengers.

Rocky’s Root Care

Rocky Douglas, Class of 2025

Rocky’s Root Care is a lifestyle and e-commerce brand that harnesses the magic of plants to heal your skin, uplift your home and nourish your soul. Whether you want to smell good, feel soft or add a touch of nature to your home, Rocky’s Root Care seeks to help you make mindful tenderness a daily grounding ritual. We do this through sharing handmade beauty products that are filled with plant extracts, home decor made from preserved moss, spiritual self-care zines, and more.


David Chu, Class of 2024
Computer Science, Economics and Philosophy

Sift is a browser extension that automatically generates secondhand alternatives to clothes that consumers are interested in buying online. As users browse websites and view clothing items, Sift automatically scans the images and keywords on the page to find secondhand alternatives which are the most visually or aesthetically similar.


Andrei Petrus, Class of 2023
Biomedical Engineering

Cardiovascular health insights shouldn’t be limited to intermittent visits. Using wearables and AI, we can monitor patients remotely, analyze their heart rhythm in real-time and bring them to the hospital only when needed. Take your cardiologist with you wherever you go.

Strictly Facts: A Guide to Caribbean History and Culture

Alexandria Miller, Class of 2024
Africana Studies

Strictly Facts: A Guide to Caribbean History and Culture is a digital platform that aims to educate and celebrate Caribbean history by connecting history, politics and activism to our rich contemporary music and popular culture. Our mission maintains the importance of using our voices to document our history. Discover Caribbean history like never before through our podcast, blog and upcoming educational content.


Kiki Nyagah, Class of 2022 (RISD and Brown)
Industrial Design and Cognitive Science

A new generation of citizens demands digitized toolkits that create learning and participation environments that seamlessly integrate with visual and sharing economies. XThePeople maximizes interaction and immersion for civic education and historical learning. It is a multi-channel digital solution that serves a wide range of digitally fluent voting-age adults with a platform that focuses on providing a universal history and civic education that is also immersive, passive and shareable.