Two UCSF Ventures, IIAM and Shimmer, Awarded Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship Grants

April 23, 2021 (San Francisco, CA) - IIAM and Shimmer, both UCSF student/trainee-founded ventures, were recently awarded and participated in the Blackstone LaunchPad Fellowship. They were selected from more than 125 nominations across 30 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Ireland. Fellowship founders received a $5,000 grant to support their time working on advancing their technology ventures, as well as other resources, support, and mentorship to help them advance their startup ideas over the 8 week course. The program included regular LaunchPad Campus Director coaching sessions, weekly entrepreneurial workshops organized by Future Founders, as well as two weeks of mentorship sessions with Blackstone employees and Techstars advisors. 

“The UCSF LaunchPad is proud to support UCSF students, postdocs, residents, and recent alumni in their entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Jeni Janci, Director of the UCSF LaunchPad. “The Blackstone Fellowship is a great example of the valuable resources available to propel UCSF ventures by offering development support, expanding their network, and giving greater exposure to investors.”

IIAM (Important Information About Me), founded by UCSF Resident Physician Nikki Jiam, MD, is an innovative and comprehensive patient portability profile mobile app empowering individuals with neurodevelopmental disabilities or complex medical needs. IIAM addresses and organizes all of the pertinent information needed during an initial interaction and long-term clinical care, as determined by the end-users themselves. With a pro-active approach, IIAM provides people with disabilities with a self-generated voice, promoting patient safety and care, and minimizing miscommunication and misunderstanding across all aspects of life. For more information about IIAM or to participate in a clinical pilot study, please check out iiam-health.com or contact Nikki at [email protected]

"Through the Blackstone LaunchPad fellowship, IIAM has been connected to other healthcare student founders across the nation through our peer small groups and our UCSF LaunchPad director (Jennifer Janci)," said Dr. Nikki Jiam. "These meaningful relationships provided a critical network for us to exchange resources, seek advice, and to celebrate achievements."

Shimmer, co-founded by UCSF medical student, Jon Wang, is the gateway for young adults seeking mental health services. Shimmer’s facilitated, Slack-like mental health community creates a space for vulnerable conversations and lasting relationships through weekly facilitator-led video sessions, self-improvement workshops, and fun community events. Learn more and join the community at shimmer.care.

Jon Wang noted that "Today, 79% of young adults with mental health issues do not access care. The fellowship helped us structure our process of understanding this problem and what type of solution could provide the most benefit for those in need. Through countless interviews and pilot studies, we come out of the program with a strong belief in our uniquely constructed video-first support communities as an essential part of one's lifelong journey of self-improvement."

The LaunchPad Fellowship convened from March 1st to April 23rd, 2021.