STEM to Market Program Participant Dr. Maria Artunduaga Earns Competitive NSF Entrepreneur Grant

Jun 11, 2019Cultivating Diversity, Leadership, Press Release

Photo: Jose Luis Villegas/Courtesy UC Davis Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

STEM to Market program participant Dr. Maria Artunduaga won an NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, worth $225,000, for her innovative start-up. Respira Labs CEO Dr. Artunduaga joins only 23 percent of principal investigators who are women. STEM to Market is AWIS’ award-winning initiative for equitable, inclusive and productive ecosystems for STEM women entrepreneurs and commercial financiers.

Dr. Artunduaga invented a device to help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. The device uses acoustic sensors to monitor and detect changes in the lungs, which would provide doctors with the data to notice changes before patients have a respiratory attack. Awarding this STEM to Market graduate is momentous because only one Latina was awarded last year. Dr. Artunduaga has earned other laudable recognitions including Entrepreneur of the Year at the Women in IT Awards in Silicon Valley, California, and the first prize of $20,000 in the Big Bang! Business Competition at UC Davis.

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