Three startups with University of Iowa connections recently received state funding totaling $900,000.

Iowa Adaptive Technologies received $100,000 from the state’s demonstration fund.

The company is the product of the university’s Iowa Medical Innovation Group (IMIG), a program that brings together students from the colleges of law, medicine, engineering, and business to develop an idea for an original medical device, collaborate on the design, produce a prototype, seek a patent, design a business model and follow the necessary legal processes toward commercialization.

IAT was formed as a result of an IMIG projects students in bioengineering and the Tippie Business College worked on in the lab of Richard Hurtig, professor emeritus and director of the Assistive Devices Laboratory in the UI Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders.

Today, IAT develops devices and provides consulting services to help critically ill and disabled patients take a more active role in communicating and participating in their own care and gain more control over their environment. For instance, the IAT SmartSwitch allows patients who are unable to speak and are physically impaired access nurse call systems, environmental controls, and communication devices like iPads and speech-generating devices.

The company has received assistance from UI Ventures and will be licensing intellectual property from the University of Iowa Research Foundation.

Higher Learning Technologies received $300,000 from the Iowa Propel Fund. UI students Alec Whitters, Ben O’Connor, and Adam Keune founded the company with the mission of making test-prep apps for nursing and dental students. One of the apps became the top-grossing education app in the Google and Apple app stores, and the apps now have 500,000 users.

Recently the company licensed intellectual property from the University of Iowa Research Foundation that it will use create to a new app for a new testing market.

VIDA Diagnostics was approved for a $500,000 loan through the Iowa Innovation Fund.  The company provides quantitative CT image analysis services to measure lung health. VIDA was founded and developed as a research tool by UI professors Eric Hoffman, Geoffrey McLennan, Joe Reinhardt and Milan Sonka and has since received FDA and CE approvals for use in clinical settings.  The loan will help VIDA continue to grow their commercialization channels and further develop their product.

All three companies are based in the University of Iowa Research Park in Coralville. Established in 1989, the park leases building sites and space to growing technology companies that require sustained research relationships with the UI. More at

The University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) is a 501C3 corporation that commercializes UI-developed technologies and inventions through licensing and new venture formation, and manages the subsequent revenue stream. The UIRF’s primary functions include identifying and developing new ventures, finding partners for commercializing and intellectual property services. More at

The UI Research Foundation and UI Research Park are both part of the University of Iowa Office of Research and Economic Development, which supports and advances research, scholarship, and creative activity on the campus. Through a broad variety of activities and services, it seeks to play an important role in the underpinning of these creative activities in the public and private sectors of Iowa and beyond.