Recent North­eastern Uni­ver­sity grad­uate Christos Kom­bouras says mobile com­merce is rapidly expanding, and while com­pa­nies are sali­vating to cap­i­talize on the trend, they simply don’t know how to manage and effec­tively market them­selves in the mobile space. He says that’s where his ven­ture, Mobi­Laurus, comes in.

Mobi­Laurus pro­vides the dig­ital plat­forms for busi­nesses and cus­tomers to con­nect. For instance, people can use their mobile phones to access daily spe­cials or place orders at local restau­rants, or order a shuttle ser­vice to pick them up at the airport.

Every­thing is going mobile, par­tic­u­larly trans­ac­tions in com­merce,” says Kom­bouras, who just earned his master’s degree from North­eastern University’s School of Tech­no­log­ical Entre­pre­neur­ship (STE).

Mobi­Laurus was one of 10 “I-​​Cubator” projects stu­dents pre­sented recently to a group of North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sors and poten­tial investors. I-​​Cubators com­bine expe­ri­en­tial learning and tech­nology com­mer­cial­iza­tion, and are a com­po­nent of STE’s master’s program.

For a full year, stu­dents work in groups on their ven­tures to fur­ther develop a tech­nology, create product pro­to­types, eval­uate mar­kets and cus­tomer needs and create fund­able busi­ness plans. The stu­dents work in col­lab­o­ra­tion with North­eastern faculty.

What makes this unique is that it’s an expe­ri­en­tial com­po­nent of the STE grad­uate pro­gram,” says STE Dean Paul Zavracky.

The pro­gram, at the end of its fourth year, exem­pli­fies Northeastern’s entre­pre­neurial spirit, as well as the university’s com­mit­ment to use-​​inspired research that solves real-​​world prob­lems. In all, nine I-​​Cubator ven­tures have been incor­po­rated, including five of those pre­sented this year.

Another one of this year’s I-​​Cubator ven­tures has a uniquely col­lab­o­ra­tive twist. It is a reha­bil­i­ta­tion device for stroke patients and inte­grates var­ious com­plex hand motions for patients to repeat. A team of North­eastern stu­dents has researched mar­keting oppor­tu­ni­ties in the United States, while another group of stu­dents from Waseda Uni­ver­sity in Japan has done the same in that country’s market. The device was devel­oped by Con­stan­tinos Mavroidis, pro­fessor of mechan­ical and indus­trial engineering.

Other ven­tures pre­sented included NeuBuild, which offers a green, pre­fab­ri­cated housing con­struc­tion system for Chi­nese real estate devel­op­ment com­pa­nies; Style Check, a mobile phone app that helps people select what type of clothing to buy and wear; and Nick­nack Pub­lishing, which pro­vides ser­vices for an older gen­er­a­tion of people inter­ested in writing books about their lives and experiences.

The pre­sen­ta­tions, mean­while, served a dual purpose—students are not only graded on their pre­sen­ta­tions, but the review panel of poten­tial investors pro­vides its own feed­back on the projects. The panel’s input is col­lec­tively used to deter­mine whether each ven­ture should con­tinue in the I-​​Cubator pro­gram, should be spun out of the uni­ver­sity, or be discontinued.