Ivonna Dumanyan '16

Ivonna Dumanyan '16 and her partner wanted to make preventable athletic injury a thing of the past.

She and her partner, Gabrielle Levac ’14, didn’t know how to write code or engineer wearable tech devices, but they knew athletes needed a better way to prevent injury, reduce risk and improve form. Staying focused on their vision of a wearable device that could measure all metrics of an athlete’s form, they founded Fathom.

Working tirelessly in Duke’s Innovation Co-Lab and other departments across campus, Ivonna was able to access the expertise she needed — from mechanical and computer engineering to prototype development and testing. She encourages other students to explore all Duke has to offer. “We’re not in a box, we’re in a fluid system where the exchange of ideas and talents is free-flowing.”

Ivonna and her team have won prizes and recognition from some of the biggest names in tech. Ivonna was awarded the Thiel Fellowship, her team won first place in the 2016 ACC Inventure Prize, and Fathom received recognition from Google and Microsoft as a notable startup. Today, Ivonna and her team have raised funds to bring the product to athletic programs across the country.


Josh Miller '16

Farming is all about what happens on the ground, but Josh saw a better way to do it from the sky.

While Josh Miller '16 was in the Melissa & Doug Entrepreneurs program, he was inspired to put his electrical engineering and computer science majors to work in the agricultural field. He began envisioning a way that computer code could positively impact crops.

Today, his company, FarmShots—acquired by Syngenta in 2018—analyzes satellite and drone imagery of farms to identify diseases, pests, and poor nutrition, reduce fertilizer application, and optimize farm production. Along with developing the technology, his team spent hours meeting with mentors, talking with investors, and transforming FarmShots from a great idea into a real business.

For Josh, FarmShots is more than a business opportunity — it’s a chance to change the world. “By 2050, the food production in the entire world is going to have to increase by 70 percent,” he says. ”The only way to keep pushing that limit of yield per acre is through application of technology.”


Suhani Jalota '16

After four years working in slums in Mumbai, India, Suhani Jalota '16 knew she wanted to make a bigger difference.

Her startup, the Myna Mahila Foundation, is based on her passion for creating employment opportunities for women and empowering women by increasing access to needed feminine hygiene products. The foundation is a network of female entrepreneurs who produce and sell high-quality, low-cost sanitary and maternity pads. In fact, Myna has a factory in a slum-redeveloped colony, currently employing 20 women, helping improve the economic health of the area as well.

Turning her vision into a reality wasn’t easy. “I always had these ideas, but solely focused on creating social impact. Initially, I hadn’t even thought about our business model at all,” says Suhani.

Her efforts gained the attention of Glamour Magazine, which named her one of their 2016 College Women of the Year. The honor included a $20,000 prize, which she used to expand the foundation throughout India and around the world.


Kasper Kubica '17

Where others saw an inconvenience, Kasper Kubica '17 saw an opportunity.

He co-founded Carpe Lotion because he realized sweaty hands were more than a nuisance — they were a bad first impression, lost opportunity, or missed shot at the buzzer. He also realized that there were no products addressing this common need.

It took more than 50 prototypes before the innovative antiperspirant hand lotion was launched. “I think you get a few chances in your life where you see a real opportunity to solve a problem, a real opportunity to make a change,” Kasper says.”That’s what I saw with this.”

After receiving $100,000 in funding from Durham investment firm Bootstrap Advisors, the team took the product to market. Today, Carpe Lotion is available at nizagara pharmacies, men’s clothing stores, athletic stores, retail outlets, and Amazon.