Two UB student ventures chosen for LaunchPad spring fellowship

Release Date: March 10, 2021


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Two student startups from the University at Buffalo have been accepted to the Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars Global Fellowship program for their tech ventures.

The Essential Machine, a service that upgrades existing vending machines with smart payment options, location-based features and a touchless interface; and Limitless Medical Technologies, a leak-sensing film that works with an app to monitor patients who have had intestinal repairs, were selected from more than 125 nominations across 30 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Ireland.

Richard Crabbe, BS ’22, Business Administration, of Irvine, Calif., is the founder of the Essential Machine. Representing Limitless Technologies are Andrea Kraft, MBA/MPH ’21, of Buffalo; Jacob Opalinski, BS ’22, Biomedical Engineering, of Buffalo; Blake Kruger, MD ’22, of Baton Rouge, La.; and Arnav Matta (attended UB) of Mumbai, India.

Through the fellowship program, the students will receive resources, support and mentorship to help them advance their startup ideas over the eight-week program. They will also receive $5,000 each in grant funding to support their time working on advancing their startup. 

This cohort of student entrepreneurs is focusing on advancing technology startups. The program includes regular LaunchPad coaching sessions from the campus director, weekly entrepreneurial workshops organized by Future Founders, as well as two weeks of mentorship sessions with Blackstone employees and Techstars advisors. Students will also have the opportunity to join the LaunchPad Network Spring Speaker Series, a quarterly event featuring successful entrepreneurs who will provide insight into skill-building and career readiness.

“Fellows in the program will engage with like-minded student founders, and the access they’ll have to mentors and accomplished entrepreneurs is unmatched,” says Hadar Borden, director of UB’s Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars. “This experience will help propel their ventures by offering greater exposure to investors and provide additional development support from experts in their industry.” 

The Blackstone LaunchPad & Techstars entrepreneurship network helps students build next-generation companies and careers and works with higher educational institutions to deliver proven startup resources, facilitate access to a global network of mentors and advisors, and offer unique virtual and physical convening opportunities for college students to go further, faster. 

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

Media Contact Information

Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management