Bootcamp Projects

Project #1 – Dr. Ann Morris | Department of Biology


Survey data has revealed that Americans fear losing their vision more than any other sense. Macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and related retinal degenerative diseases are a significant cause of human blindness for which there is currently no cure. With the aging of the human population, these diseases are becoming increasingly prevalent, and have a significant impact on our quality of life. Therefore, the development of new drugs to prevent or treat vision loss is a critical unmet need. Re-Vision is a therapeutics development service that utilizes genetically engineered zebrafish to facilitate new drug discovery for the treatment of blinding diseases. Zebrafish offer several unique advantages for drug development. Zebrafish are easy to breed in large numbers in a laboratory, and much less expensive to maintain than mice or rats. Re-Vision is developing several genetically engineered lines of zebrafish that will serve as models for different retinal degenerative diseases (such as RP). We will partner with companies and/or other researchers to screen small molecule libraries or candidate compounds for safety, efficacy, and target validation using our eye disease models. Furthermore, we can generate new disease models according to our clients’ needs. Taking advantage of over 15 years of expertise studying visual system development in zebrafish, our company is uniquely poised to accelerate the pace of drug discovery to treat vision loss.

Ann’s Bio

Project #2 – Marissa Wilson | Graduate Student | College of Design


An app designed to help people with Alzhiemer’s remember their life story through personalized photographs and songs. An additional part of this project is to create a gripper-handle case for an iPad or Tablet that provides an older adult, who might be experiencing fine motor skill functioning challenges, more comfort and confidence while interacting with the device. The inventor is interior design graduate student, Marissa Wilson. Marissa is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s of Interior Design at the University of Kentucky. She graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Interior Design from UK, and will graduate with her Master’s in December of 2016. She has a strong interest in healthcare design, and has been involved with the College of Design as a research assistant for a two-year study comparing the design efficiency of the old and new UK hospitals. She is also a graphic designer for the UK College of Arts and Sciences. As a graduate student, she has been researching how to design environments and products to improve the quality of life for people living with Alzheimer’s disease. She has dedicated a lot of time to her thesis project, and part of it will be a project in the Fall 2016 UK Venture Bootcamp Studio. She is passionate about helping people through the power of design, and hopes to invent products and environments that can help change the lives of others.

Project #4 – Dr. Kate Eddens | College of Public Health


Is a modular, mobile-ready, interactive touch-screen data collection system that uses principles of clear health communication to collect and visualize accurate network and other survey data. It gamifies the data collection experience, making it fun for participants and data collectors alike. There are a multitude of applications for OpenEddi, particularly in markets that benefit from network data collection including disrupting terrorism networks, epidemics, and improving social support. The OpenEddi team includes Dr. Kate Eddens (Public Health) and Jesse Fagan (LINKS Center for Social Network Analysis). Please note – this company has already been formed and will not qualify for business plan competitions, but does qualify for local community competitions. Dr. Eddens is seeking assistance for added value to their Startup company.

Kate’s bio

Project #5 – Brandon Enbody | Undergraduate Student | College of Engineering

Enbodyment Technologies

Energy, medicine, and food are necessities for everyone’s daily life but growing global population, pollution, global warming, and health concerns have made these things more vital than ever before. Food and water must be more efficiently used and produced, natural medicines need to be produced more abundantly but at a lower cost, and energy needs to rise to suit our wants while being environmentally friendly enough to meet our needs. Enbodyment Technologies seeks to create solutions to these issues by providing sustainable growth environments and processes. These environments will incorporate a necessary and cost affective combination of hydroponics, aeroponics, light efficiency, temperature and humidity control, protection from harsh elements, pest control, pollution elimination, and space efficiency. The environments themselves have the capable of being implemented worldwide and are molded to suit the client’s products including: food products, natural medicines, and biofuels. Brandon is an undergraduate student majoring in Civil Engineering.

Project #6 – Kai Zhang | PhD Student | College of Medicine

Welcome Home

Will provide a personalized all in one service to help internationals have a smooth transition to the US and great time in the country.It is very hard for internationals to be fully prepared for school/VISA application and have apartments set up before arriving and everything else set up soon after arriving due to language/culture barrier. There is not a company that provides a personalized all-in-one service covering from school/VISA application before arriving. Welcome Home is a personalized service! Welcome Home will also help with housing, taking pictures of apartments, and get back to you through skype! We can also set up interviews for you and your potential landlord (roommates) and even do background check on your (landlord) roommates! The inventor for this project is PhD Student, Kai Zhang in the College of Medicine. Kai is eager to get students engaged in this idea and start Welcome Home.

Project #7 – Dr. Joe Chappell and Chase Kempinski | College of Medicine

Plant-based Sustainable Solutions & Renewable Innovations

Chemicals mediate our worldly interactions, from the cleanliness we associated with fragrances to the medicines that keep us healthy. The diversity of compounds we interact with on a daily basis is simply amazing. Just think about all the colors in your world and appreciate these arise because of different chemicals. Triterpenes are but one small family compounds within the larger collection of chemicals known as terpenes, molecules that are built upon multiples of a 5-carbon building block. Triterpenes play important roles in all kinds of biology and they have very interesting industrial and medicinal uses. One important use is as vaccine adjuvants, the delivery solution used in immunizations making vaccines more efficacious. One of the triterpenes commonly used in vaccine adjuvants is squalene. In addition to its uses in vaccines, squalene and other triterpenes have other potential uses as a dietary supplement possibly lowering cholesterol and as a lubricant in high precision motors.

In order to circumvent the low natural abundance triterpenes, we have developed a method for producing high amounts of squalene and other similar molecules in organisms such as yeast and plant seeds using the techniques of Synthetic Biology. Using plants to create these compounds is an entirely renewable and truly green process.

Dr. Joe Chappell is a University of Kentucky Professor who has dreamed of creating renewable, biological-based production platforms as a means for meeting the commercial demands for chemicals and he has been instrumental in pioneering Intellectual Property making this a reality. Chase Kempinski is a PhD candidate in Dr. Chappell’s laboratory and will be completing his degree in the fall of 2016. He has used his unique skills in creating a wide array of plant lines capable of produce prodigious amounts of high-value triterpenes. Chase is passionate about developing and utilizing plants as the production platforms to meet societal needs for high-value chemical compounds.

Project #9 – Josh Cochran | Undergraduate Student

App for Quick Job Placement / Short-term Work

A mobile app that will connect UK students with local opportunities for short-term work without the commitment to regular hours. This will enable students to easily capitalize on their unpredictable blocks of free time. As they use the service, they will earn money, gain experience, and improve their reputation for future work opportunities. The application will also allow local individuals and businesses to find help quickly, support college students, and still save money by avoiding the expensive professional alternatives. Josh is looking for an experienced software developer to join him in participating in the Bootcamp and launching this service. Josh is excited about the opportunity to create a startup this year! As a Business Optimization Intern this summer at Valvoline, Josh is using data analytics to make business processes more efficient, and to propose data-driven solutions to business challenges. Josh is currently studying Accounting and Statistics, and is a Patterson Scholar and Scholar in Engineering and Management (SEAM Honors student).




Project #10 – Dr. Steve Lipka | Faculty | Center for Applied Energy & Research

Value-added Products from Distillery Waste

The bourbon industry is a thriving multi-billion dollar industry generating thousands of jobs and tax revenue for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Like other industries, waste product (stillage) in the form of solid and liquid matter is created in the production of bourbon which for the most part is simply discarded. A process to convert the waste product generated from Kentucky distilleries into value-added products having the potential for achieving excellent profit margin has been developed. Carbon materials extend across the entire electrochemical energy storage sector including their use in primary and secondary batteries, supercapacitors and fuel cells. This project will focus on the engineering, design, scaling and economics of developing the conversion process into a sustainable enterprise. In other words, the project seeks to develop the engineering principles, equipment, strategy and economics to create a unique, environmentally conscious business opportunity that ultimately supplies materials to the energy and environmental remediation markets.

Steve's bio

Project #11 – Shylo Shepherd | Lexington Community Architect

Virtual Reality Services and Experiences Cafe

For over 6 years I have developed video games, interactive media, and graphic arts as side projects. My degree is in Architecture, where I have worked professionally for over 8 years. I have been very passionate about Virtual Reality Games and Experiences for over a year and a half. I’ve competed in VR competitions, and as a board member of, I have created and managed a community project, HVREdev, for individuals to both learn about and gain experience in VR development. In my current experience, I believe that there is an emerging market combining the interactive nature of games with the art of Architecture, all while utilizing the technology of VR. The problems I intend to solve include providing a menu of services to create VR media for this market as well as the space and equipment to view that media. My idea includes creating similar products for separate client types that blend assets, processes and functionality. By day I would focus on professional services to commercial clients such as architects, engineers, real estate agencies, and commercial products. After usual work hours the business would serve as a VR cafe and lounge catering to the public, gamers and events. Stretch goals could include things like equipment rentals, catering, and ultimately franchising. I currently have one other team member, Jessica Wilder, whose experience includes management, creative marketing, photography, games, and other digital media.

Project #12 – Dr. Brennan Royalty | Medical Doctor | KentuckyOne Health

PreVisit Mobile App

PreVisit is a mobile patient-facing application focused upon engaging patients to explain their story prior to the clinic visit. It improves access for patients and significantly reduces the recording burden placed on physicians by electronic health systems. Team members include Rob Carson (illustrator) and Chris Karr (software coding and app specialist). Dr. Michael Brennan Royalty specializes in family practice in Lexington area. Dr. Michael Brennan Royalty, MD graduated from University Of Kentucky College Of Medicine with his medical degree in 2004. He is affiliated with numerous hospitals, including Saint Joseph Health System, Inc. and more.

Project #13 – Ellis Shelley | Graduate Student | Medical Science

TEAch Me Supplement

TEAch Me - A natural supplement designed for students and anyone wanting to maximize their potential. Institutions of learning are facing an Amphetamine-epidemic with their students willing to pay 10 dollars to illegally obtain a single pill to help increase alertness and mental focus that students and other professionals need. Coffee, Energy Drinks, and other over the counter stimulates that increase alertness mainly serve to mask the inability to focus by increased stimulation of the entire body. Often with negative consequences of over the top energy and jitters to where doing tasks at a desk for more than a few minutes is impossible. TEAch Me was created as a Natural Alternative to the current ways to increase mental alertness and focus. Designed to use natural ingredients that work synergistically: Caffeine (coffee-bean) works with L-theanine (compound found in Green Tea) to provide clean focused energy and improve cognitive performance maximize studying and people with mentally taxing jobs. Ellis is a UK graduate student with a passion for entrepreneurship and learning more about business.

Project #14 – Hartley Feld, RN & Dr. Melody Ryan | Colleges of Nursing & Pharmacy

App for Medications in Native Languages

Adverse drug events (ADEs) account for nearly 700,000 emergency department visits and 100,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year. A well-documented risk factor for medication errors is low health literacy. Thousands of tons of medications are donated from developed countries to the developing world annually, especially in times of disaster. The World Health Organization recommends that all donated supplies be labeled in the language of the country where they will be used. Unfortunately, it has been documented that this labeling rarely occurs. Although there are no data on the impact of labeling in a non-familiar language on ADEs, it is likely that this situation would increase medication errors exponentially.

Proposal: Develop a smartphone application to utilize the bar code on medications to link to medication information in local languages.

Hartley’s bio

Melody’s bio



Project #15 – Tommy Deeter | Undergraduate | College of Engineering

Ride Along

Ride Along is a rideshare service designed to provide students with safe rides to and from college events, and minimize the wait times associated with current informal driving practices on campus, from Greek life parties to university-sponsored venues. The event organizers will pay a small subscription fee and create a profile within the app. They can create parties and send out invites through Ride Along. In addition, they will designate drivers for the party. When a user receives an invite for a party, they can request a ride, and these designated drivers will pick them up on a first-come-first-serve basis. Guests can also pay a small amount in order to move their request to the front of the queue. Once a guest is ready to leave the party, they will hit the "Drive Me Home" button, and they will be safely taken home. Ride Along aims to contribute to the UK quality of campus life by providing a safer way to get to and from events. I am a Sophomore Computer Science major, and my primary role is to develop the iOS application for Ride Along. Our team currently has two members besides me. First is Andy Conway. He is also a Computer Science major and is the head Web Developer. Second is Matt Hogan. He is a Finance and Accounting double major and will help carry out the day-to-day business operations of Ride Along. We are interested in looking for more people to join our team, especially people with Android development experience, or Greek lifeconnections. Ride Along is currently in the development stage, and participation in the bootcamp would significantly enhance our progress and provide much needed mentoring.

Project #16 – Nate Antetomaso & Trey Miller | Undergraduates | Gatton College

Heat Map App

A mobile application that uses real-time aggregate user location data for a number of uses. On the consumer end, the app will provide real time heat-maps of other users. In a social setting, this could be used to determine which bars or nightclubs are crowded (giving users a place to either head toward or avoid), where in a library to sit, or where there is a space to park, etc. On the business end, the app could provide clients with both real-time and historical data. Where does a taxi service see its drivers traveling most? Where do students walk and sit most on a college campus? In which direction do guests come from most to a stadium or other venue? Such data can be used by business clients to make development and operational decisions. Marketing and Business - Nate Antetomaso. Finance - Trey Miller







Project #17 – Emerson James | Undergraduate | College of Engineering

New Online Hub for Academics will be an online hub for all college academic needs and opinions. Here, students can browse with or without an account in order to view campus tours, major reviews, professor, and course critiques, homework/exam advice and study tips. These entries will all be uploaded by students or even faculty members. As an addition to sites like Canvas or Blackboard, Viewniversity is a place where students can both learn and help others. Emerson is a Sophomore studying Mechanical Engineering and is searching for team members to help with this venture.


Project #18 – Ila McEntire| Staff Member | Senior Editing Supervisor at UK Press

Packet-sized Ingredients

My idea is to sell expensive flavorings and spices in small, ketchup-sized packets to capitalize on an underserved market—people who can’t afford to pay $15 for eight ounces of black sesame oil, for example, when shopping fora recipe that just calls for 1/8 of a teaspoon, plus fifteen other ingredients. Using vending machines to sell the packets is one possible marketing angle. A company called Tsp. Spices was selling spices in 1-teaspoon packets some years ago, and it was even featured on Oprah’s show. Tsp. Spices catered primarily to a wealthy audience—all organic products, and most of the sales were online--but there’s a market for flavorings in smaller portions, as attested to by the popularity of cookbooks, foodie blogs, cooking shows, etc. Typically costly essential flavorings should be more accessible to everyone, and perhaps even available in small, affordable portions on supermarket shelves one day. I am seeking team members, and I am open to working with anyone who is interested in the concept. I have a Bachelor's degree in English, and I currently work in publishing at UK. I attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's "Recipe to Reality" seminar several years ago in preparation for acting on the concept. Since then, I have also completed the small-business classes offered by Eastern Kentucky University's Center for Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET).

Project #19 – Brooke Davis and Austin Mullen| Staff Members | UK EVPFA Office

Cats Hub

Cats Hub will be your opportunity collaborate with the Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration’s (EVPFA) office to make a difference at the University of Kentucky! On a campus with over 30,000 students and nearly 15,000 faculty and staff, the resources and programs available are abundant, yet sometimes difficult to navigate. Cats Hub will create a one-stop shop for all things UK. This mobile application will afford students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to access a central database of information. Users will be able to quickly search for desired information and submit questions and solutions to problems around campus. In addition, the app would house a rewards feature allowing student organizations and academic colleges to create events and incentivize participation from students. Austin, is a Graduate Assistant within the EVPFA’s Office and pursuing a Master’s Degree. He graduated in May from the Gatton College of Business and Economics with majors in Finance, Marketing, and Business Management. Brooke serves as a Finance and Business Analyst within the EVPFA’s Office. She obtained her degree in Finance from the Gatton College of Business and Economics in May.