Lehigh University
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Alumni-inventors compete on national entrepreneurial stage

Less than a year after leaving South Bethlehem, two alumni are among the 15 finalists in March Madness of the Mind, a national entrepreneurship contest held annually by the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA).

Richard Arlow ’09 and Zachary Bloom ’09, the co-founders of LifeServe Innovations, LLC,  have created an emergency tracheostomy device that has the healthcare field—including doctors and emergency medical technicians—buzzing. A patent is pending on their SMART (Seldinger-Modified Airway Rescue Tracheotomy) Emergency Airway Technique and a prototype has been tested by medical professionals in the field.

A tracheostomy is a surgically created opening in the neck that allows air to flow directly to the trachea, or windpipe, which connects the throat to the lungs.

LifeServe says its device will use a dilator to perform a percutaneous (conducted through the skin) tracheostomy in the field. The device, according to LifeServe’s Web site, “transforms a percutaneous tracheostomy from a timely and involved surgery to a fast and user-friendly procedure.”

Arlow majored in bioengineering at Lehigh and Bloom in applied life science.

Winners of the NCIIA contest will be chosen by members of the public, who can watch videos from each contestant before voting online at Investor’s Digest. Winners will be announced March 27th in San Francisco.

In a relatively short amount of time, Arlow and Bloom have distinguished themselves as up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the emergency medical field. They were awarded a $5,000 grand prize in last year’s Joan F. & John M. Thalheimer Competition at Lehigh before coming back this year to win Lehigh’s Michael W. Levin ’87 Advanced Technology Competition.

They have also been recognized as an Advance E-Team by the NCIIA, earning a $19,600 grant in the process.

According to its Web site, the NCIAA works with the nation’s leading universities and colleges to help teams of entrepreneurs “successfully grow their innovative technologies from concept to commercialization.”

Story by Tom Yencho

Posted on Tuesday, March 09, 2010

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