Local entrepreneurs to be showcased at international festival

By Cait McVey, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, March 24, 2015, 6:24 AM EDT

Twenty-three Tampa Bay area start-up companies are set to take part in the world’s largest crowdfunding festival next month, including two that have utilized USF’s business incubator to get started.

The One Spark festival will take place in Jacksonville April 7-12.  Luther Palmer, a professor at USF, will be showing his walking robot.

Palmer says biology played a big role in the design by his start-up company Lubotics.

“Legs are a pure creation of biology,” Palmer said.  “Legs are so capable. Because legs can go over terrain, legs can walk over ice and rocks and things like that and they are better than wheels when the situation is rough.”

Making the robot ideal for search and rescue missions.

“Our goal ultimately is to put one of these things on every fire truck, in the back of every police car,” Palmer said.

Pat Bhava is another entrepreneur who will be showcasing his new app, PikMyKid, at the festival.
 
Bhava describes the app as a way for schools and parents to have a smoother and safer experience when students are picked up from school at the end of the day.  
 
He said it lets teachers know right when a parent pulls up and even shows the order of cars as they wait in line.
 
“The moment the kid is in the right car, the teacher swipes the kid off the tablet and then I get an alert and my spouse gets an alert,” Bhava said.
 
Already, the Fairfax County School District in Virginia will be rolling out the app in its 200 schools.