Startup Company Born Out of Federally-Funded Research at UNH Highlighted at Capitol Hill Showcase

Friday, April 5, 2019

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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Soteria Solutions, a business born of research conducted at the University of New Hampshire, will be featured at the University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Showcase April 10 on Capitol Hill. Hosted by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Universities, the event will spotlight 20 startup companies from across the nation that have created products and services using federally funded, university-based research.

Soteria Solutions is UNH’s first female-founded research-based startup and a spinoff of the university’s Prevention Innovation Research Center (PIRC). It fosters collaborations with partners that leverage individual and organizational strengths to build safe and respectful learning, working and living communities via training, consultation and implementation of proven prevention and response strategies. PIRC is internationally recognized for its collaborative research and community engagement focusing on sexual and relationship violence and stalking prevention and response. PIRC is led by Sharyn Potter, professor of sociology, and Jane Stapleton; they are also the co-founders of Soteria Solutions, which was launched to expand on PIRC’s academic work solving one of society’s biggest challenges: building safe, respectful environments within workplaces and schools.

“We are thrilled to be recognized at the APLU’s University Innovations and Entrepreneurship Showcase,” said Potter and Stapleton. “We have developed our evidence-based prevention strategies to prevent sexual and interpersonal violence and harassment with federal research awards through PIRC, commercialized our strategies with assistance from UNHInnovation, and now distribute the commercialized products through Soteria Solutions. We are excited to share our evidence-based prevention strategies with work places, colleges, universities, high schools, and communities.”

The showcase will highlight the important role of federally funded university research in driving high-value entrepreneurship and the U.S. innovation economy for members of Congress, their staff, and national economic development and innovation policy leaders. Speakers include U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu; National Institute of Standards and Technology Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services Phillip Singerman; House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chair Eddie Bernice Johnson and Ranking Member Frank Lucas; APLU President Peter McPherson; and AAU President Mary Sue Coleman.

“Path-breaking research is fundamental to the mission of public universities,” said APLU President McPherson. “Strong federal investment in university-based research is essential for our nation because that research provides the foundation for the development of new technologies that save lives, make us more secure, improve our quality of life, and power our economy forward. We’re thrilled to highlight some of the best startups sparked out of that investment to demonstrate how university-based research fuels innovation and entrepreneurship across the country. These startups are examples of why 88 percent of voters agree it’s important for the federal government to fund science and technology research. Scientific research spurs economic growth.”

Of the showcase, AAU President Mary Sue Coleman said: “The partnership between the government and American research universities lies at the heart of the U.S. scientific and higher education enterprise. This unique American partnership has empowered entrepreneurs to start companies and entire new industries that have advanced our health, national security, and economy.”

Startups were chosen by a selection committee comprised of innovation experts who considered the level of student engagement in the startup, the strength of the startup technology, and its connection to research.  The committee also factored whether the affiliated university had earned APLU’s Innovation & Economic Prosperity University designation, a national recognition for higher education institutions that have demonstrated a substantial and sustainable commitment to promoting economic development.

The University of New Hampshire inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top-ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. As one of the nation’s highest-performing research universities, UNH partners with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, and receives more than $110 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.