With all of the choices in today's energy market, a new Carnegie Mellon University startup is helping residential consumers understand their choices.

Lumator's mission is to help consumers reap the benefits of deregulated markets. The team of computer scientists and MBA graduates is using technology developed in the Machine Learning department.

The university is celebrating this kind of entrepreneurial spirit today with LaunchCMU, an event on the Pittsburgh campus created by the Carnegie Mellon Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship that showcases technology, cutting-edge research and startup companies.

The first LaunchCMU event took place in Silicon Valley in May. Lumator was among the companies who were introduced then.

"We were very fortunate to have shared the stage at the inaugural Launch CMU event," said Lumator CEO Prashant Reddy (CS'13). "It was fantastic to see heads nodding during my pitch and to find out afterwards that they belonged to some very prominent investors."

The day includes tours of the Field Robotics Center, CREATE Lab or NavLab. Each group has worked to push the limits of what is possible in their perspective fields.

Emerging technologies, products and services are on display at the Entrepreneurship Demo and Poster session, and faculty members will showcase some of their transformative research.

"Combining faculty research talks with startup pitches attracted an audience that was able to engage deeply in Q&A on the technical aspects of Lumator during the breakout sessions," Reddy said. "The insight I gained there has helped us refine Lumator's business model and get product to market quicker than we had planned."

CMU ranks first among the Association of American Universities schools in the number of start-ups per research dollar, based on an analysis of the five-year Association of University Technology Managers data (FY08-12). More than 130 companies spun out of CMU during that time, representing one third of university-based startups in Pennsylvania.

More than 1,000 companies across industries such as robotics, software applications, energy, health care and finance have had roots at CMU. These companies create jobs across the United States and internationally, with the highest concentrations in Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley and India.

This year's startups include:

  • PECA Labs, a medical device company that has developed a heart valve with the potential to save thousands of children from undergoing repeated open heart surgeries;
  • PieceMaker Technologies, a company marketing the PieceMaker 3D printer, software and support services to allow stores to print and deliver goods on demand; and
  • ActivAided Orthotics, whose product RecoveryAid is designed to rehabilitate back pain by correcting biomechanics and poor posture that lead to and perpetuate back problems.
Other commercialized technologies created by CMU companies over the past five years include Duolingo, an app with which people can learn languages for free while simultaneously translating on the Web; and intelligent and adaptive traffic signals being developed by Surtrac, Inc. to cut down on congestion, saving people time in traffic and reducing auto emissions.

CMU is celebrating the inauguration of Dr. Subra Suresh with symposia throughout the year. In April, a symposium will take place in Washington, D.C., with the theme "The University and Regional Economic Development." As universities such as CMU become more global in focus, they also have an important role to play in regional economic development. This panel will explore the ways in which universities can drive job growth and company creation on a local and national scale. Follow the conversation on Twitter with #CMUsuresh.


Related Links: Media Advisory: Carnegie Mellon Debuts Semiannual Research And Entrepreneurship Showcase: Launch|CMU | Breakthrough Funding | Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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