Congratulations to Ali Bakhshinejad (‘18 PhD Mechanical Engineering) who is one of 50 Wisconsin entrepreneurs to make the final round of the 2019 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest, which supports early-stage entrepreneurship. Ultimately, after judging, the top dozen finalists will present at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in June in Milwaukee.
Bakhshinejad is president and CEO of the cloud-based software company VasoGnosis, Inc. (previously known as 4D Flow), which could improve a clinician’s understanding of an individual’s neurovascular disease. The software uses existing data to provide advanced visualization and analysis of an individual’s specific vascular anatomy in the affected region.
Alex Francis (’18 PhD Mechanical Engineering) is chief strategy officer of the Milwaukee-based start-up.
Bakhshinejad says the mentorship he received at UWM and from industry partners supported his entrepreneurial dream.
“One of the biggest events during my doctoral studies was taking part in the college’s Student Research Poster Competition,” he says. “I had a limited time to pitch my idea to industry judges and convince them that my research was important and that we were solving a real problem.”
As a doctoral student, Bakhshinejad won three awards for biomedical engineering research on numerical modeling of blood flow in cerebral aneurysms: first place in the graduate student division of the college’s 2016 and 2017 Student Research Poster Competitions; second place in the 2016 IEEE Milwaukee Section poster competition; and a Graduate Design and Research Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society.
Bakhshinejad’s advisor was Roshan D’Souza, associate professor, mechanical engineering. D’Souza’s research is focused on understanding blood flow in aneurysms. He is developing new methods of analysis for a special kind of magnetic resonance imaging technology: 4D Flow MRI.
His entrepreneurial dream, Bakshshinejad says, was greatly aided at UWM by Ilya Avdeev, associate professor, mechanical engineering and director of innovation at the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, and Brian Thompson, the center’s director.
Engineering students played role in another semifinalist’s invention
Engineering students played a behind-the-scenes role in the invention of another semifinalist participating in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest. During her doctoral nursing studies at UWM, semifinalist Lindsey Roddy (who created the Medical Tubing Organizer) was supported in her invention by a cross-disciplinary team that included four graduate and undergraduate students in mechanical, industrial and biomedical engineering.
“At UWM, engineering students and faculty have created great, interdisciplinary connections through their innovative and entrepreneurial work,” Avdeev said. “UWM has the ecosystem to support these innovators, entrepreneurs and creators.”