Success Stories

There are countless ideas that have succeeded under our leadership and guidance. Here are some entrepreneurs who have taken off with their ideas.

Cheese Maker

Becky Yoshikane, an Interdisciplinary Arts and Technology student and Wyatt Tinder, Digital Studio Practice student are co-creators of the homemade cheesemaker. The idea for the homemade cheesemaker is to create an automated, all-in-one device that turns aspiring home cooks into artisans who can prepare fresh mozzarella in the comfort of their own kitchen.


Silas Petrie, founder and Mechanical Engineering student is designing a new bike lock called Ever-Lock that will lock the front and rear wheels to the bike. This bike lock will add to the ease of locking your bike, and the security of locking it outside.


PhD Candidates of Computer Science, Julian Zlman and Ke Chen as well as Masters of Music student Shixuan Zhang co-founded a music app, Notes. It’s an application that follows the notes played on piano. Use for turning pages of a music score automatically and for teaching and educational purposes.

Smart Grid

Cofounders Seyed Rasoul Hosseini and Andrew Eggebeen are graduate students of the Computer Science program. SmartGrid controller for fast energy control and intelligent grid communication.

Smart Sole

As a Master’s student in Industrial Engineering and an undergrad in Exercise Science from Carroll University, Joseph Pliner is the founder of Smart Sole. It is a device that is placed in shoes to notify users when it is time to replace their footwear.


Duo and couple, Tahereh Hosseini, an electrical engineering Ph.D. student, and Amin Majtahedi, an architecture & social learning Ph.D. student, are co-founders of A.I.M.: Architectural Information Modeling. AIM analyzes different aspects about the ecology of people, information, activities and programs in a research facility by monitoring data using a sensor network. The final product will produce a 3D rendering and map that will describe the dynamics of social structures, which are responsible for knowledge management practices in relation to physical and spatial environments.

Hybrid Speedskating Clap Skate

As a former U.S. national speed skating team member, Brent Aussprung has developed a product that can improve a skater’s speed time by moving between a traditional skate, and a clap skate. The skate will increase performance in acceleration and stability during the start of the race as well as maintaining competitive velocities by a mechanical means. The invention allows ice skaters to benefit from the advantageous traditional rigid skate at the start of the race, then transition to a clap skate for improved speed and stability.


Erika Pliner has been swimming since the fifth grade. She is now using the Student Startup Challenge as an opportunity to make her job easier as the swim team assistant coach at UWM. Erika has created a waterproof and wireless communication device for swimmers. Since no individual has flawless swimming techniques, her goggles will be a source of communication from the coach to the swimmer to provide continuous stroke guidance without stopping for feedback.


A casual chat among colleagues at the School of Freshwater Sciences (SFS) turned into an idea for a portable and inexpensive sensor that quickly detects bacteria in water. Their device works by creating a holographic image of particles found in a water sample. The laser’s light waves pass through the sample and scatter off a photographic plate behind it. But the waves also bounce off of particles in the water, creating an interference pattern. Software powered by a computer no bigger than the palm of your hand, which Hansen ordered online, translates interference patterns into a 3D image. In the next year, they also hope to hone the device’s sensitivity. Meanwhile, the UWM Research Foundation is actively exploring intellectual property protection for it.


Alex Francis won the Student Startup Challenge (SSC) with an idea for an electrostatic trap called “E-Trap.” Originally developed by UWM Associate Professor of Chemistry Jorg Woehl, E-Trap is a tool that allows researchers to corral tiny particles like viruses and DNA molecules so they can be studied under a microscope. Through the SSC, he’s had the opportunity to meet established entrepreneurs and has received help in identifying potential customers for E-Trap. The goal is to allow researchers to “plug-in and go.” The team aims to develop a fixture prototype by the end of the semester.

Level Camera Products

Growing up in Superior, Wis., Kyle Ilenda and Spencer Johnson bonded over freestyle skiing. The two developed a do-it-yourself approach to making camera equipment. This ultimately led to their winning Student Startup Challenge (SSC) idea, LEVEL Camera Products. The LEVEL kit includes seven pieces that allow users to make one of the three different accessories: a camera slider that creates smooth linear motion, a shoulder rig to stabilize handheld footage, and a table-top dolly that allows users to create linear motion shots with a flat surface like a table. The friends plan to build off it’s success.

3D Creations

This engineering duo’s new product brings the industry of 3D scanning to a whole new – and significantly less expensive – level. 3D scanners, like those designed by the 3D Creations team of Jesse Depinto and Matthew Juranitch, survey and scan 3D objects and create a replica, similar to a copy machine scanning and printing an identical image. Their design amplifies current 3D scanners on the market by lowering prices by nearly 66% and boasting three times the resolution of existing models. The product’s table-top design allows for heightened portability, as well.

Clever Blocks

As creatives build real-world models with these smart, Lego-esque blocks, an identical real-time software model is created simultaneously onscreen. Bryan Cera, Clever Blocks team leader and designer, believes that these blocks have the potential to enhance interdisciplinary collaboration in 3D modeling. The team has high hopes of the product becoming an easy-to-learn technology that could eventually be used as an educational building tool for all ages and skill levels. With phase one completed, Clever Blocks members are now focusing on expanding the product’s many capabilities.