Grow Dubois County, a 501(c)3 committee formed to work in collaboration with Dubois Strong to foster and engage economic development and entrepreneurship in Dubois County, has partnered with the Vincennes University Jasper Campus Foundation as well as the Dubois County Community Foundation to award a $5,000 grant to Variable Technology, LLC. The grant will help the company fund a patent request for a new healthcare technology product.
Variable Technology was established in 2012 for the purpose of innovating and commercializing unique ideas that solve problems and bridge technology gaps that exist in various market segments. One such product measures pressure and moisture in a flexible material at a fraction of the cost of existing solutions.
“The basis of this idea was initially patented at NSWC Crane and further developed by USI’s Technology Commercialization Academy. Variable Technology has licensed the patent from Crane, refined the idea, and developed an initial prototype. Although this product can be transitioned into multiple markets, we are initially targeting the healthcare industry with an eye on bedsore prevention. This grant will help to better protect our intellectual property and allow us to advance commercialization and company growth opportunities,” said Todd Mehringer, one of Variable Technology’s co-owners.
Mehringer, along with his brother and fellow co-owner Bret, are Dubois County natives while co-owners Pete Avenatti and Alexander Soles reside in Bloomington. All four owners are currently employed by Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division.
Todd adds, “Ultimately, Variable Technology’s vision is to expand the technology innovation sector in Dubois County and the Southern Indiana region.
“This grant connects three important community efforts—creating access to entrepreneurship, leveraging our involvement with Crane, and fostering economic development at CTIM,” said Brad Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Dubois County Community Foundation.
“Crane is such an important part of our region, and it’s important that we continue to interact with them and those affiliated with them,” said Marc Steczyk, Grow Dubois County’s President. “This first grant was easy for our committee to decide upon, as Variable Technology’s team members have helped mentor students at VUJC and are also engaged in the local business community.”
“Mentoring our students and providing them with inspiration demonstrates continued interest from Variable Technology in the importance of not only education, but the fostering of an entrepreneurial spirit within our community,” said Ray Niehaus, Director, Center for Technology Innovation & Manufacturing. “The team worked well with each group and provided key learnings about time management, manufacturing processes, teamwork and a multitude of additional soft skills which are needed for today’s workforce. The interaction between Variable Technology and students at Vincennes University Jasper Campus is that of connecting unique software skills with futuristic hardware skills creating a formula for success.”
Grow Dubois County was formed in late 2014 as a standalone entity to assist and work in partnership with Dubois Strong on economic development initiatives in Dubois County, as well as helping engage local entrepreneurial development. Dubois Strong is the county’s economic development source for innovative entrepreneurs and thriving businesses. For additional information, visit www.duboisstrong.com.