Pay attention to these 2 language-oriented Drexel undergrad startups - Technical.ly Philly

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Jan. 18, 2017 12:45 pm

Pay attention to these 2 language-oriented Drexel undergrad startups

After a rigorous application process, Boost Linguistics and Orai got chosen to run their own internship co-op programs.

The Boost Linguistics founding team. Left to right: Ethan Bresnahan, Alex Dodson and Jeff Nowak.

(Courtesy photo)

Following the footsteps of Drexel-founded companies like SchollyBiome and Tern Water, two student-led startups got approval from Drexel to run their own internship co-op programs. (Drexel requires undergrads to take on multiple co-ops before they graduate. Remember how game developer Greg Lobanov did something similar?)

The two startups are Boost Linguistics and Orai (formerly Oratio) and they’ll get, as part of the program, a six-month residence at the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship incubator, mentoring from Drexel faculty and $15,000 in funding. While Drexel has previously allowed students to use their own companies as a co-op placement, this program represents a more defined and built-out offering. The program, which is one way that Drexel is encouraging entrepreneurship among its students, has been around since The Close School opened its doors in 2013 and about 20 students have completed it, said The Close School’s Chuck Sacco.

The application process sounds rigorous. Students have to show, according to the application guidelines:

  • Tested and validated business model
  • Money and resources already invested or have customer base
  • Product or service
  • Statement of goals for the business during the co-op period

“This will allow one of our student founders Ethan Bresnahan to take a break from classes to spend six months working full time on Boost Linguistics,” said Boost Linguistics cofounder Jeff Nowak.

Per the company’s press page, Boost Linguistics offers B2B content marketers a “writing enhancement software” which uses natural language processing to “increase the emotional charge” of content. The bootstrapped team is now 10-strong.

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We last caught up with both of these companies during Drexel’s Startup Day, where Oratio won the top spot (plus a $12,500 check) and Boost got third place plus $5,000.

Orai, the other company in the cohort, also uses artificial intelligence to improve content but from a spoken perspective. Its undergrad founders are Paritosh Gupta and Danish Dhamani, and the company just brought on Asher Breverman, founder of WindiGo Turbinesas COO. During the co-op, the company will be focusing on launching its app for iOs.

We told you it was wise to keep an eye on these companies.

Companies: Orai, Drexel University
People: Chuck Sacco
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