Pittsburgh Inno’s 5 Founders under 25 Honors Grove City College Student

GROVE CITY, Pennsylvania — Grove City College senior Luke Gilligan has been named one of Pittsburgh Inno’s “5 Founders Under 25.”

Pittsburgh Inno, an online outlet focused on the region’s tech and startup sectors, highlights “Pittsburgh’s next generation of innovators.”

Gilligan, an entrepreneurship major from Fishers, Ind., along with four other collegiate entrepreneurs identified by Pittsburgh Inno, are profiled this week in the Pittsburgh Business Times.

The distinction highlights the undergraduate CEO’s work in establishing Resense, a company that produces and markets products to improve the lives of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as their caregivers. Gilligan said he became interested in the caregiving field through volunteering and working in nursing homes as a teenager, where he said the treatment of dementia patients broke his heart.

The project originated from an entrepreneurship class in his freshman year.

“One of my team members had a grandfather who was living with Alzheimer’s, and we wanted to create a product for him,” Gilligan said.

After extensive research, the company conceived its lead product – the Connect + Comfort Kit.

The product is a toolbox of items and activities that target the five senses, utilizing a nuanced approach to therapy aimed at increasing brain health and eliciting long-term memories.

Through Grove City College’s VentureLab’s Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation, the students were able to test their toolkits in multiple care communities, develop products, build partnerships, and launch in May 2022.

With support from E+I, seed money won at collegiate business plan competitions, and much hard work, Resense successfully marketed the kits and developed another product.

“We realized that many care communities do not provide newspapers to their residents. So, we came up with the idea of a dementia-friendly newspaper that would include completely positive news,” Gilligan said.

The “Resense Register” was launched in March 2023 and has entered over 400 care communities to date.

Gilligan said the next step for the startup is to create an online platform that will allow care partners of individuals with dementia to have online access to downloadable activities, resources, and mentoring.

The E+I Fellows program provided Resense with internship support while Gilligan was paid to work on his startup through a new and innovative program called “E+I Founders.”

“The team at the Center for Entrepreneurship + Innovation has had the tremendous honor of working with Luke over the last few years as he participated in every facet of our programming, and we’re excited to see him use his education and training to help and serve others,” said Yvonne English, Gilligan’s freshman entrepreneurship professor. “We couldn’t be more proud.”

For more about Resense, click HERE.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.