How a Master's thesis became a company

How a Master's thesis became a company

Here is a short version of an email we sent out to our mentors in January. Since we keep meeting amazing people on this journey, we thought it would be nice to publish them here, so if you are new to our list, you can see what we've been up to until now.


We are thrilled to look back at 2016 and see how far we’ve come — we started with the idea to make breast pumping better as a school project for our Master’s final Integrated Product Design project at UPenn School of Engineering. After winning the iDesign Prize from the School of Design, we turned this into a company, Lilu, Inc. through which we aspire to improve much more than breast pumping.

After graduation, we set up camp at the WeissTechHouse, a student-run hub of technological innovation at Penn.

Since then, we’ve had feedback from over 1000 mothers and lactation experts, developed and tested dozens of prototypes and participated in two amazing fellowships with YCombinator and Dreamit.

We’ve tested the latest prototypes with over 40 moms, and have seen milk output and time saving improvements for pumping mothers! One of our favorite quotes from a mom was “my right hand [is] so getting much needed rest.”


For 2017, we’ll kick off the year by participating in the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program in the Bay Area, where we’ll be towards the end of January and again in March. We’ll be focusing on exploring additional channels of distribution other than B2C and breastfeeding boutique stores.

We are getting ready for an even more action packed 2017 so stay tuned!


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