EDUWorks LLC was founded in 2017 with the goal of making science more accessible, specifically through innovative products that help individuals to excel in the laboratory. The family-run enterprise not only empowers students but does so affordably, disrupting an industry that can be prohibitively expensive.
Elliot Weinthal, Founder with his father
Elliot Weinthal, founder of EDUWorks and University of Central Florida biology undergraduate student, found himself becoming frustrated with studying for lab practicums; these exams require students to memorize over 100 structures from many different slides. To prepare, students rely on a lab manual that is usually different from the slides in a lab or they take low-quality photos by hand.
To solve his frustration, Elliot invented the ScopeSnap, an adapter that enables a cell phone camera to take research-quality photographs through a microscope while at Seminole State College of Florida. After talking with professors and printing a prototype at a local maker space, he taught himself CAD, bought his own 3D printer, formed an LLC, filed a patent for ScopeSnap, and eventually became a vendor for Seminole State College, Daytona State College, and University of Central Florida. Other companies such as Disney and Optech Services have also shown interest in EDUWorks’ products.
In 2017, Elliot transferred to the University of Central Florida and was accepted into the UCF UpStarts Student Venture Accelerator. Within this cohort, he was one of three student businesses selected to represent UCF at the 2018 Blackstone Launchpad Powered by Techstars Innovation Bootcamp in New York City. Furthermore, Elliot was awarded Student Starter of the Year 2019 within the UpStarts Accelerator.
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Currently, EDUWorks LLC has three employees: Elliot; his father Marc Weinthal, who assists with operations and order fulfillment and has over 40 years of experience selling high-performance auto parts; and Perry Weinthal, Elliot’s uncle. Perry, an engineer, has extensive experience in computer-aided design and 3D printing.
“I have a deep passion for science and feel everyone should have access to a quality, scientific education,” Elliot says, and his plans for EDUWorks’ future are proof. “Once we have the business further along and have time to spend on development, we want to record a lecture series that covers the basic sciences at first, then more technical subjects.” The series will follow the free, peer-reviewed textbooks provided by the nonprofit Openstax out of Rice University.
The entrepreneurial support Elliot has found for EDUWorks has also inspired and enabled other projects. Earlier this year, Elliot cofounded MÜÜD Water—which is a flavored beverage with a proprietary blend of stress and anxiety-reducing herbs as well as Cannabidiol (CBD)—with Ishmam Ahmed in the UCF UpStarts Accelerator. Elliot now serves as MÜÜD Water’s Chief Science Officer.
“We already have a CBD supplier in California and are in talks with co-packers in Central Florida to get pricing on herbs, bottling, and formulation,” Elliot says. “Once we get quotes for pricing we can begin talks with the two investors who have already expressed interest in the company.” But it all started with EDUWorks, and EDUWorks all started with support from family, the community, and local universities.
EDUWorks’ story, MÜÜD Water’s story—but most importantly, Elliot’s story—show just how important an entrepreneurial support network is—especially for students. With its powerful ecosystems of support, Orlando has shown that it does not see students and businessmen; instead, it sees innovators and all the ways it can help them.
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