TAMPA — Lauren Wright, co-founder of a company called Natural Nipple and a participant in the The University of Tampa’s Lowth Entrepreneurship Center Spartan Incubator program, won first place and $10,000 recently in the Florida Blue Statewide Heath Care Innovation Pitch Competition.
Wright’s company is currently working to promote prolonged breastfeeding by creating a nipple and bottle prototype designed after mothers’ nipple types and actual maternal lactation flow rates.
“Breastfeeding can prevent anxiety and depression in mom and developing children,” Wright said. “I want to empower mothers to give the next generation the best possible start to life by engineering a product that revolutionizes breast to bottle continuity, promotes bonding and optimizes wellness for mothers and babies worldwide.”
Wright, a nurse practitioner and doctoral student, also said the company is creating a movement where mothers feel comfortable discussing their barriers to breastfeeding and seeking assistance from other mothers and even scientists and researchers.
The pitch competition was held last week at the GuideWell Innovation CoRE in Orlando’s Lake Nona Medical City. The competition was open to all undergraduate and graduate students at any university or college in Florida, and sought “innovative solutions that support the treatment of anxiety and depression through improving access to therapies, reducing the stigma of treatment, increasing engagement treatments, personalizing treatment access and options, improving convenience of treatments or encouraging ongoing mental health wellness.”
The Florida Blue Health Innovation Pitch Competition is available thanks to contributions from the University of South Florida Center for Entrepreneurship at the Muma College of Business, Florida Blue and the GuideWell Innovation CoRE.
For more information about UT’s Lowth Center for Entreprenuership Center in the Sykes College of Business, see www.ut.edu/entrepreneurcenter.
The University of Tampa is a private, residential university located on 110 acres on the riverfront in downtown Tampa. Known for academic excellence, personal attention and real-world experience in its undergraduate and graduate programs, the University serves approximately 9,300 students from 50 states and 132 countries. Approximately 62 percent of full-time students live on campus, and about half of UT students are from Florida.