Visit Lydia Davies on LinkedIn.
Visit Taci Pereira on LinkedIn.
Visit Blaine Killen on LinkedIn.
Visit Ken Ehrman on LinkedIn.
Connect with Chris Howard on LinkedIn.
Check out Softeq on the Softeq website.
[00:00] Podcast begins - SXSW Pt. 2: Start-up Founders Mashup
[00:47] Sportstech & women-led startups with Lydia Davies
[05:52] Making sports meetups easy through TEAMATES
[07:36] Biotech & 3D printing with Taci Pereitra
[09:31] Printing biomaterials for clinical trials at Systemic Bio
[15:01] Innovating healthtech for mobile devices with Blaine Killen
[16:28] Collaborating with Nasa through FitLift
[21:29] Saving dogs at South By with Ken Ehrman
[26:02] Building a safer pettech product at Halo Collar
Interview 1: Lydia Davies, TEAMATES
Can you tell me about how your current startup, TEAMATES, came about?
Sportstech isn’t just for traditional professional athletes— and Lydia wanted a way to expand her love of sports and social gatherings into a practical application that everyday people could use. In 2020, Lydia began working on her current startup, TEAMATES, a sports meetup app designed to bridge the gap between childhood fun and adult social circles. Finding a tennis partner or playing a round of golf is made easy with this location-based tech that connects adults looking for a healthy, fun way to connect in their community.
“I discovered, as an adult, there's a huge lack of connection between adults being able to just go out and have fun playing a game. It's all fun when we're kids, and then it stops. Why does it stop? I’m just trying to bridge that gap there [with TEAMATES].” — Lydia Davies
Interview 2: Taci Pereira, Systemic Bio
What do you use 3D printed bio matter for at Systemic Bio?
The future of biotech is human…sort of. Using a unique combination of hydrogels and human DNA, Taci’s company, Systemic Bio, is 3D printing bio matter for clinical trials. Instead of relying on animal testing or other risky and uncertain drug trial practices, the future of our physical health might be determined in the future through living cells printed as needed. Not only is this a huge innovation for 3D printing technology, but Taci believes this could rapidly increase the drug development process.
“About 90% of drugs actually fail clinical trials, and some of the reasoning is that animals have been used for many years to be an indicator of whether drugs will work in humans. That's a big limitation of the process that we are trying to address by making these human models.” — Taci Pereira
Interview 3: Blaine Killen, FitLift
An unexpected opportunity recently came up for FitLift. Who does that involve?
FitLift, a wearable device designed to help athletes prevent injury, ended up having more applications than Blaine and his team initially expected, including the army, college athletic programs, and now, NASA. The sky is no longer the limit for FitLift and Blaine is hopeful to see FitLift someday make it to the Space Station. First, however, it has to help astronauts on the ground prepare for their journeys ahead with safe, injury-free exercises.
“For the foreseeable future, [NASA] would like to use it to train astronauts to be fit, so by the time they're in the spacecraft, they're ready to go and able to handle the needs of those rapidly changing, sometimes dangerous conditions up there.” — Blaine Killen
Interview 4: Ken Ehrman, Halo Collar
What is the difference with Halo Collar, vs other pet-tech startups and companies?
Pet tech is a massive market, but Halo Collar separates itself from the pack of up-and-coming pet tech startups because of their mission to keep dogs safe at home and on the go. After his niece’s dog escaped from the yard and was hit by a car, Ken felt motivated to prevent technology like invisible fencing or traditional yard fencing from failing to keep a dog safe. Halo wants a safer world for dogs through customizable, safe, intuitive technology, and thousands of customers agree that this is unlike any pet technology they’ve seen before.
“The intelligence of a dog is like a two-year-old child. So, they don't know that cars are dangerous, they might get lost, they just don't know. Through technology, we can help them stay safer, but get the freedom they need.” — Ken Ehrman