UIC Tech Ventures and Beyond!












Soon-to-be graduates and co-founders of NuFortis, Flor Fernandez, Brittany Chibe and Jason Rebello have been unstoppable since winning first place at UIC C2V Business Plan Competition this past December.

The team placed 2nd in the Louisville Cardinal Challenge elevator pitch competition and 6th in the Georgia Bowl competition, and has raised a total of $4,250 in prize money. Their upcoming schedule is jam-packed and will take them to The Big Sell competition at Purdue University March 29th, the New Venture Championship at the University of Oregon 3rd, and beyond.

Nonetheless, they found the time to tell us more about NuFortis and their experience since creating their company. NuFortis is essentially a technology service firm, offering Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) to the civil infrastructure industry: ‘NuFortis is optioning and will license a solution incorporating technology developed and patented by Oak Ridge National labs that not only monitors a structure’s health in real-time, but also continuously forewarns of structural failure…’ What excites the founders the most about their product is that it is a practical solution, which can really make a difference in many industries nationally and globally. ‘We are bringing advanced technology to create efficiency, cost savings and increased safety to the world’s buildings, bridges, nuclear power plants, oil rigs and pipelines.’

When they embarked on their adventure in the MBA UIC Tech Ventures program last summer, once they found an untapped technology and inventors, they were charged with identifying a viable business concept. They evaluated potential technologies based on the amount of research funds already invested in the project, and the potential market size. Their research led them to a technology that ultimately became the foundation of the company they launched, Nufortis.  The technology is backed and protected by 10 patents with more on the way; it has already been successfully tested by NASA and the US Airforce; this year it will be tested by the Federal Highway Administration on an actual bridge that is set to be destroyed.

What made Tech Ventures ‘the single most impactful experience’ of their entire program at UIC Liautaud were the small victories and growth they were able to achieve since their initial success at the UIC C2V Business Plan Competition last year. ’The combination of the long hours of preparation, the strong competition, and networking has been a thrilling ride…Before we began our MBA program we may have talked about the idea of starting our own business. Now we’re actually trying to grow a business that we’ve started.’


Click here for a the full version of the interview conducted with the NuFortis co-founders.


If you are interested in taking part in the Tech Ventures program starting this summer, get more information here.