CEAS alum’s company among “20 Wisconsin Startups to Watch in 2020”

Ali Bakhshinejad
Cloud-based software company VasoGnosis, Inc., founded by UWM alumnus Ali Bakhshinejad (PhD, Mechanical Engineering, 2018), is among “20 Wisconsin Startups to Watch in 2020,” according to Wisconsin Inno.

Originally appeared January 16, 2020 on the College of Engineering & Applied Science website.

VasoGnosis is dedicated to improving 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.

Also on Wisconsin Inno’s list is SafeLi—co-founded by UWM physics professors Carol Hirschmugl and Marija Gajdardziska-Josifovska, who is also dean of UWM’s Graduate School—which is developing patented material to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries.

Bakhshinejad says the mentorship he received during his doctoral studies at UWM—from professors, staff and the College of Engineering & Applied Science’s industry partners—supported his entrepreneurial dream, which found roots in his dissertation.


Researchers and entrepreneurs involved in launching VasoGnosis and SafeLi will present at this year’s Milwaukee Engineering Research Conference (MERC), February 27-28 at UWM. MERC will be co-hosted by UWM’s College of Engineering & Applied Science and the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center and will spotlight the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship at the college and the university.
Three people at UWM, he says, guided him to a successful company launch: his advisor Roshan D’Souza, associate professor, mechanical engineering; Ilya Avdeev, associate professor, mechanical engineering and director of innovation at the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center; and Brian Thompson, director, Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, and president, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Foundation.

The college’s Student Research Poster Competition forced him to hone his communication skills. “At the competition, 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,” Bakhshinejad says. “It proved to be one of the most important events during my doctoral studies.”

See previous posts on the Graduate School website on SafeLi last October and Bakhshinejad in 2018 while a UWM doctoral student.