At D2P, we work with all kinds of creative individuals on campus to help develop their innovative ideas. Some call themselves entrepreneurs. Others favor terms like “pioneer” or “mad scientist.” Some are still exploring and learning, and some have launched successful startups and licensed technologies. All of them are bright and dedicated, and we’d like to introduce you to just a few of them. View our startup companies here.

Below are two sections: a section that contains an industry category filter, followed by a section that contains innovators from that industry. Selecting a filter will automatically filter the innovators. Innovators may take a few moments to load as the filtering is processed.

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ProPhounD, co-founded by Alyssa Adams, Ali Deastch, and Andrew Kusick, is a program aimed at counseling research scientists and facilitating their transition into impactful roles outside of academia, pairing talented scientists with causes that they are passionate about. 

Read more about Alyssa Adams, Ali Deatsch, and Andrew Kusick

Randolph Ashton and Gavin Knight, co-founders of Neurosetta, have developed a novel, scalable approach to bioengineer reproducible cell culture models of brain and spinal cord development.

Read more about Randolph Ashton and Gavin Knight

Joel Baraka and Anson Liow co-founded My Home Stars, an educational board game for Ugandan students. Their mission is to improve access to quality education in refugee camps for children across the country.

Read more about Joel Baraka and Anson Liow

Kevin Barnett and George Huber, co-founders of Pyran, are paving the way for the future of sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based chemicals

Read more about Kevin Barnett and George Huber

Bryan Bednarz is a UW–Madison professor who co-founded Voximetry, a healthtech company specializing in sophisticated tools to accurately and efficiently monitor radiopharmaceutical therapy in cancer patients.

Read more about Bryan Bednarz

Couple posing together

Guelay Bilen-Rosas and her team at AyrFlo are developing a novel respiratory monitoring device that detects breathing problems in patients early, quantitatively, and in real time.

Read more about Guelay Bilen-Rosas

Cindy Burzinski, on a mission to increase community access to live-saving materials for those struggling with substance use disorders, is spearheading the Nalox-ZONE program.

Read more about Cindy Burzinski

Immuto Scientific founders, Faraz Choudhury and Daniel Benjamin, are developing technology that uses protein footprinting to revolutionize drug discovery and therapeutics development.

Read more about Faraz Choudhury and Daniel Benjamin

Kit Chow and Aditya Singh Parihar

Kit Chow and Aditya Singh Parihar were undergraduate students and co-founders of Boosted Chews, a startup that produced bite-sized caffeinated chocolate. Find out what these innovators are doing now.

Read more about Kit Chow and Aditya Singh-Parihar

EduReality founders Clayton Custer and Taylor Waddell are developing technology that will allow STEM students to explore educational simulations through virtual reality.

Read more about Clayton Custer and Taylor Waddell

Photo of Paolo Desati and Elena Donghia at a table discussing something

Paolo Desiati and Elena D’Onghia are developing technology to shield astronauts from harmful cosmic radiation during space travel, Halbach Torus.

Read more about Paolo Desiati and Elena D’Onghia

Katie Haghighi seeks to create a more sustainable and fashionable future through her optimized thrifting platform, FR8.

Read more about Katie Haghighi

Kattia Jimenez

Kattia Jiménez is a UW–Madison staff member and the founder of Mount Horeb Hemp, a company that produces CBD oil from locally grown plants.

Read more about Kattia Jiménez

Katy Jinkins, the CEO and co-founder of Sixline Semiconductor, is seeking to revolutionize the electronics industry by developing semiconductor devices that vastly outperform those conventionally fabricated with silicon.

Read more about Katy Jinkins

ChloBis Water, Inc. co-founders Margaret Lumley and Dohwan Nam, along with Kyoung-Shin Choi are on a mission to unlock the potential of water desalination.

Read more about Margaret Lumley and Dohwan Nam

Tamara McLean seeks to show how art can be made when AI technologies intersect with human creativity in her showcase, “They Said,”

Read more about Tamara McLean

Shawn Michels

Shawn Michels founded SteadyShot while he was an undergraduate student in the School of Business. The company developed a one-handed injection device for diabetics.

Read more about Shawn Michels

Paul Mross stands by a model of the Happ:y mat, marked up with hand and foot outlines and instructions for placement of hands and feet.

Paul Mross is a UW–Madison consultant on research exploring yoga and fall prevention. He is the co-founder of Happy Wellness, a company that has created a unique mat and communication system to facilitate therapy.

Read more about Paul Mross

Bill Murphy in his lab

Bill Murphy is a professor of biomedical engineering and co-founder of Stem Pharm, a company that develops stem cells to aid in drug discovery, cell therapy and regenerative medicine.

Read more about Bill Murphy

Melissa Skala

Melissa Skala and her team are developing biomedical optical imaging technologies for cancer research, cell therapy, and immunology.

Read more about Melissa Skala

Photo of Jim Steele with a group of students examining fermenting beer on a table in various test tubes and fermentation jars.

Jim Steele is a professor of food science at UW–Madison and founder of Lactic Solutions (acquired by Lallemand). Steele’s innovation uses lactic acid to increase yields in the ethanol production process.

Read more about Jim Steele

UW–Madison PhD student Patrick Sullivan is a Co-Founder and CEO of Flux XII, a flow battery grid energy storage technology that offers a more effective, cost-efficient, and sustainable method of storing energy.

Read more about Patrick Sullivan

Erin Vranas developed the concept for Yips Yogurt Chips while a student at UW–Madison. The treats are designed for those who want an easy, good-for-you snack to eat on the go.



Read more about Erin Vranas

Ben Winters

Ben Winters co-founded FoodChain as an undergraduate student in the School of Business. It provides an innovative digital solution to connect growers and consumers.

Read more about Ben Winters