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Northwestern Student Startup Named a Finalist in “WSJ Startup of the Year”

SwipeSense among top three in Wall Street Journal online competition

SwipeSense, a health-related startup founded by two recent Northwestern University graduates, has been selected as one of three finalists in The Wall Street Journal’s “WSJ Startup of the Year.”

SwipeSense founders Yuri Malina (left) and Mert IseriThe online video series, which began with 24 startups in June, matches the young companies with global business leaders and influencers, and tracks their progress from startup to success over the course of five months.

SwipeSense aims to reduce hospital-acquired infections, which kill an estimated 90,000 people per year in the United States, by providing hospital staff with portable, trackable hand-sanitation devices.

About the size of a pager, the hand-sanitizing system affixes to health professionals’ belts and dispenses sanitizer at the swipe of a hand. A wireless tracking system monitors how often the wearer sanitizes his or her hands.

Mert Iseri (combined studies '11), a graduate of Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Yuri Malina (integrated science '11) of the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, created SwipeSense through Design for America, a national student group founded at Northwestern that creates local and social impact through interdisciplinary design. Iseri and Malina co-founded Design for America while undergraduate students at Northwestern.

The three finalists were announced October 17 in a video on the Wall Street Journal’s website. The newspaper’s editors, with input from mentors, chose the finalists based on the companies’ scalability, long-term viability, distinctiveness and utility.

The judges remarked that SwipeSense has “a very simple product that could change people’s lives” and “two very dynamic CEOs who can communicate that very simple message.”

“They may be WSJ Startup of the Year,” a judge noted.

Watch the “WSJ Startup of the Year” judges announce the final three.

Learn more about SwipeSense and its hand-sanitizer dispenser at the Wall Street Journal.