USF Research News

Two USF startup companies in “Final Four” of Business Pitch Competition

January 14, 2015
Two University of South Florida startup companies in “Final Four” of Business Pitch Competition

LuBotics, LLC and Life Enabling Technologies, Inc. advance to the final round

Two of the four companies competing in the final round of the Access to Capital Business Pitch Competition are University of South Florida startup companies.

LuBotics, LLC has created ARCHie, an advanced walking remote-controlled robot that can go places too small, too dirty or too dangerous for humans and has the ability to climb obstacles.

Life Enabling Technologies, Inc. develops assistive devices for wheelchair users in order to provide functionality and enhance the quality of life.

The Hillsborough County Department of Economic Development teamed up with the New World Angels for the Access to Capital Business Pitch Competition to provide existing and startup businesses the unique opportunity to win $5,000 while gaining valuable insight from successful business owners who have discovered their keys to success.

USF’s two startup companies were selected from among the over 60 business owners that entered this year’s competition. The final round will be held on Jan. 15 at the Sheraton Tampa East, where the grand prize winner will be announced at the Access to Capital Summit.

LuBotics’ technology features scalable robots that use legs to walk and climb over uneven terrain, providing an advantage over robots using wheels and tank treads. Dr. Luther Palmer, Computer Engineering researcher at USF, has invented a mechanism for taking advantage of foot force information. This patent pending technology allows the robot to adapt each walking step to the terrain, thus the robot can scale objects equal to its size, a feat unparalleled by other walking systems, according to Palmer.

Life Enabling Technologies, led by Stuart Pinnock, has licensed two products designed to provide easier accessibility to tools and items for wheelchair users. The patented folding armrest tray allows users to utilize a pivoting table that can provide visibility and access to devices put on top such as tablets, smartphones, etc. The patent pending backpack retriever provides easy access to belongings usually stored at the back of the wheelchair and retrieves these items effortlessly and independently with a flip of a switch.

The Access to Capital Summit event is expected to bring together more than 200 participants including entrepreneurs, financial services, senior executives, and investors to discuss strategies for expanding access to capital for local businesses.

About the University of South Florida

The University of South Florida is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. USF is a Top 50 research university among both public and private institutions nationwide in total research expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Serving nearly 48,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.5 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.

Media Contact: Lauren Golin USF Research News 813-974-0102 lgolin@usf.edu