Local Startup Lapovations Awarded $100,000 Small Business Award
Jared Greer, center, receives the winner's check at the 2018 SEC Student Pitch Championship, with Carol Reeves, left, of the U of A, and Blake Petty, right, of Texas A&M University.
Lapovations, a medical device company started by U of A alumni, has been awarded a $100,000 Small Businesses Innovation Research Phase II Matching Grant from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. The grant builds on a similar $1 million Small Business Innovation and Research award Lapovations received from the National Science Foundation in 2020.
The purpose of the grant is to support continued development of the trademarked AbGrab, a laparoscopic device that enables surgeons to lift the abdomen less invasively and more reliably prior to surgery.
The federal Small Business Innovation and Research award program incentivizes small business to pursue research and development with the potential for commercialization. The goal is for the businesses to reach their technological potential and to create a pathway to profitability through commercialization.
The matching funds from the AEDC are designed to encourage growth and keep small businesses in Arkansas competitive for these larger federal awards, like the NSF award, that will help drive the creation of high-wage and high-skill jobs.
Lapovation is creating a range of products to improve minimally invasive surgery. The company first came together in the graduate-level New Venture Development course sequence offered by the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Alumni from the College of Engineering and the Walton College of Business won a series of pitch competitions, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and investments. CEO Jared Greer also graduated from the U of A with a master's degree in biomedical engineering. The company was headquartered at the U of A Startup Village and has since moved into the Arkansas Research and Technology Park.
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