Women Startup Challenge Finalist Courtney Gras and Design Flux Technologies

June 21, 2016

Design Flux Technologies, LLC is a spin-out company from the University of Akron, and was co-founded by two Electrical Engineering students in 2011. Frustrated with the complexity and discontinuity in energy storage systems, these two students surrounded themselves with a team of experienced business advisors, engineering professors, and other colleagues to formulate a new paradigm in power management. The result of these efforts was the conceptualization of Cognicell: the first software-defined solution to the complex power management ecosystem.

Watch Courtney Gras‘ pitch by clicking the video above.

What inspired you to start this company?

Encouragement from professors at my University (the University of Akron) combined with the commitment and drive from my co-founder and my love for the startup environment (challenging, fast-paced work).

What has been your greatest lesson thus far?

Don’t fall in love with the product – fall in love with the problem. e.g. focus on the pain point from customers, talk to them frequently and early, then build your solution around that, iterate, and stay focused – maintain minimalist thinking.

Biggest pain point you’re solving within your business?

The cost, reliability, and complexity of installing/using batteries in clean energy applications (e.g. solar, electric vehicles).

What’s your proudest moment thus far? (Go ahead and brag!)

Being named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2016 and being invited to present at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna Austria on stage with Popular Science on the “Future of Batteries” in May 2016

What is the one thing your potential customer needs to know about your product?

Our technology will make it easier and more cost effective to install and use batteries for their clean energy applications by completely eliminating the need for battery chargers and power inverters.

You can watch all 10 of the Women Startup Challenge Finalists pitch their companies here. Follow this link for more information on the Women Startup Challenge.

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