OwlSpark | Rice University Startup Accelerator | TeamWise: DASH Innovations
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TeamWise: DASH Innovations

Can you imagine not knowing when you need to use the restroom? Your bladder fills up as it normally does, but you have no concept of how full your bladder is getting. This is the struggle that patients with neurogenic bladder face in their everyday lives. Having a neurogenic bladder means that their bladder and brain don’t communicate with each other. These patients always run the risk of their bladder becoming too full and pressure building to dangerous levels.

This is where DASH Innovations steps in to save the day. They developed a device called UrinControl, a urinary valve for these patients. This valve sends an alert via phone to the patient or their caretaker notifying them that the bladder is full and they would then go to the bathroom to press a button that opens the valve. Currently, DASH Innovations is targeting pediatric patients with spina bifida, a population who are all born with neurogenic bladders.

Founders, Sylvie Kalikoff, Hannah McKenney, and Drew Hendricks, were pursuing their masters in bioengineering at Rice University where they shadowed a pediatric urologist, who urged them to solve this problem. From there, DASH Innovations began, and they developed UrinControl and pitched at the Rice Launch Challenge prior to joining OwlSpark.

Working for a startup has it highs and lows. However, DASH Innovations embraces the instability and uncertainty—that’s their favorite part. Additionally their ability to meet and network with so many people in Houston has presented them with opportunities and room for future success. OwlSpark has been a turning point for DASH Innovations as they primarily focused on the engineering side of their startup, and this summer has introduced them to the business side of things and encouraged them to think deeper about their goals. They took this summer to refocus on the customer and reprioritize.

Outside of startup life, this trio lives diverse lives. Drew works on other startups and loves to solve jigsaw puzzles—the biggest one he’s done is a 5000 piece puzzle! As brand new Texans, Hannah and Sylvie spend a lot of their free time exploring Houston and Texas. Sylvie likes to go to the museums and run or bike and Hannah likes to travel. Sylvie is also very into painting – she just bought a new easle and has it set up so that she can paint whenever she gets inspired. The trio also enjoys the occasional happy hour together and are excited for DASH Innovation’s next steps.

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