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PT Students take part in Pre-Accelerator Program

Sep 26, 2017

Steven Ebeling and Cassandra Ford, Department of Physical Therapy doctoral students, are developing an app called TheraJournal that will allow physical therapists to capture video of the patient performing prescribed exercises and then format them to include instructions before uploading to an online portal. The online portal will allow patients access to their prescription, record adherence and tracking of symptom progression.

For their promising business idea, Ebeling and Ford received a $5,000 stipend from VCU’s Quest for Innovation Fund, which supports the entrepreneurial endeavors of VCU students. In spring 2017, the pair took part in VCU’s Pre-Accelerator Program, a three month experience focused on buiding them through the challenging early stages of building a startup. Their startup was one of seven selected from 152 applications through a rigorous process in which 34 finalists had five minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of officials from VCU entrepreneurship programs, the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park and Richmond accelerator program lighthouse Labs.

Todd Nuckols of Lighthouse Labs says the Pre-Accelerator Program and the companies emerging from it are playing an important role in Richmond’s entrepreneurship scene.

“The Pre-Accelerator Program is critical to the continued sharpening of VCU and the community’s focus on developing our startup ecosystem,” he says. “It provides a safe environment for students to pursue dreams and consider the elements necessary to succeed in startup life.”

The Pre-Accelerator Program is part of Venture Creation University, VCU’s strategy for ensuring that all students are exposed to innovation and entrepreneurship and have access to various entrepreneurial pathways.