Travel Guides

2022 MICA UP/Start Venture Competition Finalists Announced

MICA is happy to announce this yr’s UP/Start Venture Competition finalists, who had been chosen after the Spherical 1 Digital ‘Pop Up and Pitch’ occasion on November 19. 

This yr’s finalists embrace:

Blvck Door
Iman Carr ’22 (Design Management MA/MBA)

Blvck Door is an internet platform that bridges the hole between creatives of shade and employers who see the advantages of an equitable, diversified workforce.




Herschel Ruben ’21 (Product Design BFA)

There’s an estimated international inhabitants of 70 million individuals on the autism spectrum—80% of whom are unemployed or severely underemployed. Folks on the spectrum are hypersensitive to gentle, style, sound, scent and contact. For them, even the smallest stimuli can really feel overwhelming. When their nervous techniques get overloaded, it could actually trigger a struggle or flight response that disrupts workflow. Making use of strain on sure factors within the nervous system, equivalent to outer thighs and shoulders, can calm or forestall sensory overload. The Compressent Desk Chair is for individuals who expertise overstimulation of the nervous system and wish a relaxing mechanism to be productive of their on a regular basis lives. Deep strain contact, notably when it may be self-controlled with Compressent, is a way of assuaging the necessity to settle down by disconnecting. Discovering a approach for this to be utilized in on a regular basis life led to designing the Compressent Desk Chair, a product that can be utilized—with out stigma—in any work atmosphere.


Emma Koramshahi ’22 (Design Management MA/MBA), Aleks Romano ’22 (Design Management MA/MBA), and Julia Breskin ’22 (Design Management MA/MBA)

How do I take up area in a dialog?

Convo is an information visualization device that makes use of AI and animation to deliver fairness into the digital assembly area. In your assembly, every participant is represented by a reactive circle. As a participant speaks, their circle will increase in dimension. Beneath every circle, a working timestamp data the cumulative length of that participant’s speech. Participant quantity determines the speed of development of their respective circle. As a device offering each real-time suggestions and a visible abstract for dialog participation, Convo has the potential to make your academic, skilled, or private conferences an area the place all voices are heard. As soon as developed, Convo could be licensed business-to-business and can be a worthwhile addition to firms like Zoom, Skype, and WebEx to combine with their APIs.

The crew at Convo has the spark and the drive. We wish UP/Start to be the catalyst to realizing our dream of self-reflective dialog in a digital atmosphere.

Core Immersive Labs 

Paolo Narciso ’22 (Knowledge Analytics & Visualization MPS)

​​The metaverse is turning into a actuality with over $3 Trillion {dollars} being invested to construct what many are calling the following era of the Web. The chance is predicted to double within the subsequent 5 years. Similar to the Net was not nearly web sites, and engines like google, the metaverse is not only about Combined Actuality. It basically can change commerce, economies, and human interplay. However, similar to the Net, the builders and designers are usually from the privileged populations, leaving out underserved communities and the voices/concepts by gender, race, age, and ethnicity.  Our mission is to supply the coaching, instruments, and alternatives for these underserved populations all over the world to be entrepreneurs, builders, and designers of the metaverse.  The coaching shall be free to the individuals. The corporate will generate income as a worldwide innovation lab, and thru job placement providers. 

Knock the Block

Guide Karnjanakit ’21 (Illustration Follow MFA)

Coping with artwork blocks isn’t simple. “Knock the Block” is right here to assist.

Most artists and artistic individuals, no matter expertise stage, have skilled intervals of artwork block: the state of not with the ability to give you concepts or feeling caught. This typically results in disappointment or doubt, which simply creates extra blocks. The causes of a block may vary from being mentally and bodily drained from consistently creating, to only the other when one hasn’t created something for some time. 

“Knock the Block” is a mild deck of inventive and self-care card prompts to assist individuals overcome this common creative problem. Place the deck inside attain, and every time encountering an artwork block, simply decide a card (or a number of!) and comply with by way of with the prompts. Each card is playfully illustrated with the aim of bringing a smile to the readers’ faces.

Every “Knock the Block” deck incorporates 60 playing cards divided into 3 totally different classes: topic prompts, method prompts, and self-care prompts.


Jana Thompson ’21 (UX Design MPS), Mackenzie Legg, ’21 (UX Design MPS), Kelly Lynch ’21 (UX Design MPS), Justine Cantu ’21 (UX Design MPS), and Heather Waugh ’21 (UX Design MPS)

Mira is your digital twin that can assist you meet your objectives and take the breaks you want throughout your day. Each individual can create their very own distinctive avatar that will get by way of the day with them and thru the ups and downs of life.

You create your personal customized Mira avatar with a singular face, voice, and persona that can assist you set every day, ongoing, and long-term objectives. Your Mira will verify in with you all through the day to see the way you’re doing and encourage you to perform what you imply to, but additionally that can assist you perceive you and meet you the place you are at.

With the Mira app, it is possible for you to to trace your objectives, in addition to have a look at your stress ranges and well-being over time. 

Mira is supposed to assist your well-being by being an outdoor voice to provide the reminders and the encouragement you want.







Kristen Karlovich ’21 (Product Design BFA)

Pharma-D is a device library of at dwelling/take dwelling medical units that provides extra widespread and simpler entry to taking care and monitoring an people well being. Pharma-D doesn’t change pressing cares, hospitals, or common docs workplaces, however slightly permits individuals to make informative selections on their well being care. 

There are such a lot of medical units available on the market that most individuals don’t know they’ve entry to. The whole lot from displays that may detect cancers, to several types of digital stethoscopes, and coronary heart displays that may detect coronary heart assaults or emotional misery days upfront. 

Pharma-D would permit individuals to entry and perceive their very own well being. Pharma-D would permit people to make educated selections and provides professionals extra perception on the well being and care one wants. Pharma-D would assist reduce down on the price of pointless, extremely costly testing, detrimental ready occasions of checks, and be an assist to medical professionals and amenities.


Monika Reddy Vootukuri ’21 (Graphic Design MFA)

Storypets are voice assistants that ship bedtime tales to children within the voice of the dad or mum or the grandparent as a substitute of a generic AI voice. The prototype is an try and design for pleasure, responding to the present panorama of voice computing and digital merchandise. Storypets explores how households can use know-how to share an inclusive and non-robotic expertise with their children. The product connects cultures and generations whereas redefining the principles in person expertise design. Storypets is particularly delicate to household settings the place numerous languages are spoken and commonplace diction or accents usually are not the norm.

The product works along with a cellular software. The dad or mum data both a pre-written or a private story within the cellular app, this story shall be saved within the bodily product (i.e the pet) and children can select to listen to it every time they need. Moreover, children can narrate tales to the pet.

The UP/Start Venture Program & MICApreneurship are generously supported by The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Basis. Winners shall be introduced through the finale occasion on Tuesday, April 12, 2021. For extra info, go to

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