Lumme, an Amherst-based company led by two recent UMass Amherst doctoral recipients, is among 20 startup companies chosen for The University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase on April 10 in Washington, D.C.
The company, founded by Akshaya Shanmugam, chief executive officer; and Abhinav Parate, chief technology officer, is developing an addiction treatment platform that targets smoking, alcohol, diet and other harmful behaviors. The platform combines wearable technology, machine learning and behavioral psychology. Shanmugam and Parate say the platform is designed to act like a therapist in your pocket, offering help at the right time. It uses sensors on a smartphone and a smartwatch to detect, predict and prevent behavior that impacts your health.
The showcase is hosted by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Association of American Universities and is a way to highlight products and services conceived using federally-funded, university-based research. The showcase will put Lumme and other startups in the spotlight in front of national economic development and innovation policy leaders, members of Congress and their staffs.
Startups were chosen by a selection committee comprised of innovation experts who considered the level of student engagement in the startup, the strength of the startup technology, and its connection to research. The committee also factored whether the affiliated university had earned APLU’s Innovation & Economic Prosperity University designation, a national recognition for higher education institutions that have demonstrated a substantial and sustainable commitment to promoting economic development.
Lumme is funded by multiple Small Business Innovation Research grants from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.