In April 2013, two senior Engineering students won the School of Engineering & Applied Science's first Discovery Competition for their low-cost medical device that measured lung function. This month, they were named to the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2018.
Andrew Brimer and Abby Cohen
Andrew Brimer, who earned a degree in mechanical engineering, and Abby Cohen, who earned a degree in biomedical engineering, turned their Discovery Competition idea into Sparo Labs, which has continued to grow by leaps and bounds in four short years. The company has raised $2.7 million in funding since it was founded. The team also won at least 10 competitions, including the Olin Cup and the Student Technology Prize for Primary Healthcare.
The spirometer Brimer and Cohen developed became Wing, a pocket-sized device that measures lung function in patients with asthma or COPD and sends results to an app on a smartphone, allowing it to be used almost anywhere. Wing received FDA approval in June 2016.
Brimer and Cohen participated in the first-ever White House Demo Day hosted by then-President Barack Obama in August 2015. Cohen was the only female and the only undergraduate student in the 2013 Class of Entrepreneurial Fellows by Pipeline.
Brimer and Cohen volunteer with the Skandalaris Summer Internship Program, a program that helps students find internships at local startups and incubate their own ideas; Prosper, an organization addressing the entrepreneur gender gap in the St. Louis region; Spark! Incubator, a startup incubator for high school students in the Parkway Public School District; and are on the board of directors for the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America - St. Louis Chapter.
The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 140 full-time faculty, 1,387 undergraduate students, 1,448 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.