UVA’s i.Lab Showcases Innovative University Startups at South by Southwest 2017

By Joyce Smaragdis

The W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory (i.Lab) at the University of Virginia Darden School for Business today announced it will exhibit at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017, showcasing innovative UVA-affiliated startups supported by the i.Lab’s Incubator program. The i.Lab at UVA welcomes all SXSW tradeshow attendees to booth numbers 1922/1924 to meet the founders of three startups that emerged from of the University, which were incubated through the i.Lab:

  • Contraline, launched by students and faculty from the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the UVA School of Medicine, is a biotechnology company developing a long-lasting, nonhormonal and reversible male contraceptive. Contraline’s first product, Echo-V, is a polymer gel that is implanted nonsurgically via a novel medical procedure called Vasintomy.
  • Critical Flow, founded by alumni from the UVA School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, is a technology company offering clients water recycling products and creative solutions to reduce their water footprint. Critical Flow launched its first line of products, Grayworks, in late 2016 to reclaim shower, laundry and sink water — otherwise known as gray water — for beneficial reuse.
  • 1Degree, founded by MBA students from the Darden School, is an online platform that allows influencers (i.e., public figures, industry leaders and celebrities) to engage directly with the public, while allowing them to raise proceeds for themselves and charity. At SXSW, 1Degree will host a virtual pitch event to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.

UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Data Science Institute, Office of the Vice President for Information Technology, and Curry School of Education-affiliated Jefferson Education Accelerator will also participate at SXSW. UVA alumni attending SXSW who are interested in meeting the companies listed above and/or networking with fellow UVA alumni are invited to register here.

“The i.Lab at UVA accepts approximately 25 startups into a highly competitive, immersive annual incubator program that enables entrepreneurs to take their ventures to the next level,” said Jason Brewster, i.Lab Incubator program director. “We’re pleased to showcase a small number of our companies at SXSW this year and to highlight the efforts of a variety of schools and institutes at UVA, as well as the innovation taking place in the Charlottesville community.”

The W. L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory, or i.Lab, is funded and operated by the Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Darden as a University-wide resource for innovation and entrepreneurship at UVA.

Other Highlighted Events

SXSW Tradeshow Meet and Greet: Craft Wine, Beer and Cider Pairings, With a Virginia and i.Lab Twist

i.Lab at UVA Booth 1922/1924

Sunday, 12 March, 4–5 p.m.

SXSW participants attending the trade show are welcome to attend this meet and greet event at the i.Lab at UVA booth. UVA alumni and i.Lab company products will be served, including Mad Hatter Hot Sauce and Archer Roose wine.

SXSW Trade Show Pitch Stage

Monday, 13 March, 5 p.m.

The founders of 1Degree, Contraline and Critical Flow will pitch their startups to SXSW attendees in a 10-minute, lightning pitch session. Stop by to hear directly from i.Lab founders in a high-energy pitch event.


About Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The Batten Institute at the Darden School of Business improves the world through entrepreneurship and innovation. The institute’s research initiative advances knowledge that addresses real-world challenges and shapes Darden’s curriculum, and its educational offerings are ranked top 10 in the world. The Batten Institute was established with gifts now totaling over $125 million from UVA alumnus Frank Batten Sr., a media pioneer, visionary and founder of The Weather Channel. The W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory is supported and managed by Darden’s Batten Institute for the benefit of the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem at the University of Virginia.

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About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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David Hendrick
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Darden School of Business
University of Virginia