These Philly companies got nods from Fast Company's 'Innovation by Design' awards - Philly


Sep. 12, 2018 7:56 am

These Philly companies got nods from Fast Company’s ‘Innovation by Design’ awards

LIA Diagnostics was a winner in the Health category with its FDA-approved pregnancy test. Bluecadet, Orai and Aerial Applications were among the finalists and honorable mentions.

Aerial Application drones zoom over disaster areas.


LIA Diagnostics’ flushable, biodegradable pregnancy test just won the Health category in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards, which highlight “trailblazing design in business.”

The Center City company, which late last year announced the FDA approval of its flagship product, is trying to spare some 2 million pounds of used home pregnancy tests from hitting the landfills each year while providing a layer of privacy for women.

Dreamit and Ben Franklin Technology Partners are among the backers of the startup, founded in 2015 by Bethany Edwards and Anna Couturier Simpson.

Also highlighted in the list is Fishtown experience design firm Bluecadet, a finalist in both the Web Design and Graphic Design and Data Visualization categories for its work with NASA and the Outrider Foundation, respectively.

Orai’s speech coaching app also received an honorable mention in the Students category.

With a Category 4 hurricane hurdling towards the East Coast, perhaps the more timely Philly company highlighted by the awards was Aerial Applications, which received an honorable mention in the Social Good category.

The Pennovation-based startup, makers of a software that creates 3D models out of geospatial data, re-submitted a version of the work it did at the MD5 Hackathon in Austin, Texas: a digital interface that provides first-responders with 3D models of areas hit by natural disasters.

“The interface involves us flying over an area [and] capturing data with thousands of photos from the drones,” said CEO Joe Sullivan. “We then provide [first responders] with a standardized workflow that’s very approachable and easy to understand. It serves them not just in situational awareness but allows them to have a concrete series of steps.”


The company’s technology is currently in use by Comcast, which used the interface to survey areas of Savannah, Ga., hit by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

“This award is the recognition of the work we’ve put in over the years,” said Sullivan. “As a team, we’re really thrilled to receive the award and get that recognition. A lot of people worked very hard on this and it gives our team a great satisfaction.”

Aerial Applications has a team of 12 split between its Pennovation headquarters, and satellite offices in Washington, D.C., Florida and Austin.

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