Carnegie Mellon University

Integrated Innovation Institute

Engineering + Design + Business

Integrated Innovation Institute

Matthew Dworman (MIIPS '19)

From Classroom to Competition: The Idea that Launched a Company

Matthew Dworman (MIIPS ’19) pitched his startup Touchwood Labs, an idea born during the Institute’s IoT Advanced course, on the international stage of TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield 2020 and has continued the momentum since then.

An experienced furniture maker with an entrepreneurial drive and an eye for simplistic design, Dworman fused his love of natural materials with the technologies he was learning in class to create the cutting-edge technology behind Touchwood.

Touchwood is an interactive display that blends seamlessly into its environment and, as if by magic, activates only when and where one needs it - without being obtrusive or distracting.

Touchwood Labs formed soon after Dworman presented his proof-of-concept in class - with Gaurav Asthana (MIIPS ’19) joining as COO and, initially, Sisi Yu (MIIPS ’19) as Head of Design. Dworman and Asthana have since welcomed Vaibhav Gupta (MIIPS '19) to the company.

As just one of 20 startups chosen for TechCrunch's competition, the Touchwood Labs team underwent an intensive mini-accelerator for several weeks before the pitch. Though not ultimately selected, Touchwood Labs joins an impressive list of companies that have shared the Battlefield stage, such as Trello, DropBox, and Mint.

The team found success at the Hardware Cup Smart Home Competition though, winning their category and advancing to the international competition in May 2021.

TouchWood Labs recently launched its first products, a coffee table and end table, which will be shipping in summer 2021. Visit Touchwood Labs online to learn more about its patent-pending technology and how you can have it in your home.