Hedgehogs Have Always Wanted This Food

By Sanjai Tripathi.

Kimberly Halzen really knows hedgehogs.

She got her first pet hedgehog, Inky, at age 13. Her love for Inky and inquisitive nature drove her to learn as much as she could about the creatures.

Kimberly and Hedgehog

But Kimberly found it very difficult to find good information. There was no definitive source for guidance for hedgehog owners, of which there are an estimated quarter-million in the United States alone.

So Kimberly did a lot of research and wrote a book to help all hedgehog owners. She published Pet African Hedgehogs, A Basic Guide to Care while still in high school.  

“I spent so much time online learning about how to properly care for [Inky] … hours on hours on online forums is what led me to write my care books, to address the questions that people have.”

She has since become a recognized authority in the community. She is currently working on the third edition of her book, operating a USDA-licensed breeding business, and staying active with education and rescue. All that is in addition to her job in the rehabilitation facility (the “doggie gym”) at Oregon State University’s veterinary teaching hospital.

Yet, Kimberly still isn’t finished. She is developing something new to meet a major need for hedgehog owners.

Hedgehogs are naturally insectivores. They evolved to primarily eat bugs. They need insect fiber for proper digestion. Lacking that, hedgehogs can have serious and messy problems related to health and hygiene problems .

However, there isn’t currently a high quality insect-based feed product available for hedgehog owners. Most owners end up feeding their hedgehogs cat food, which is made from meat and plant products and lacks the necessary fiber.

Kimberly is now working with the OSU Advantage Accelerator to launch a new company called Hedgehog Precision, which will provide specialized insect-based foods that are palatable and nutritionally appropriate for hedgehogs.

Products under development by Hedgehog Precision

She started developing her products by putting insects into a blender in her kitchen. She tried different insect formulations and formed them into blocks. Then she ran a series of tests with her own hedgehogs, and those of volunteers, to determine which products the hedgehogs prefer.

Bug Blocks from Hedgehog Precision

“Hedgehogs are picky,” Kimberly explains. However, after rigorous testing, she identified a recipe for that satisfied all comers. “[The treats we developed] are extremely palatable for the hedgehogs. They all love them.”

Hedgehog Precision is now offering insect-based treats called “Bug Blocks” on their website at www.hedgehogprecision.com. Kimberly is also developing an insect-based staple food called Hedgehog Precision Diet that owners can feed their pets every day.

More challenges remain. Like any startup, Hedgehog Precision faces a litany of hurdles as it moves toward launch. Kimberly is developing recipes, building the website, setting up the accounting system, building supplier relationships and creating a production facility in her garage. Once those are all done, there will be more to do.

But Kimberly has help. She first credits her husband for being supportive. “He helps me in a million different ways,” including grinding bugs in the kitchen in the middle of the night.

Company logo

She also gets support from the wider hedgehog community, where people are eager to help. One fellow hedgehog owner, for example, provided graphic design for the Hedgehog Precision logo.

The next steps for Hedgehog precision include acquiring an extruder for production and selecting a lab services company for nutrient analysis.

Kimberly is ready and eager to meet these challenges. “I have wanted to work on developing a specialized hedgehog food for a long time,” she says. Her passion for hedgehog care continues to drive her forward.


Learn more and follow Hedgehog Precision:

Website: www.hedgehogprecision.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WestCoastHedgehogs/

Oregon State Spinouts ‘Clean Up’ at Willamette Angel Conference


May 17, 2018

Oregon State Spinouts ‘Clean Up’ at Willamette Angel Conference.



Two clean technology companies affiliated with Oregon State University were among the top finalists at the 2018 Willamette Angel Conference (WAC).

Both companies are graduates of the OSU Advantage Accelerator program. “It was great to see two of our graduates gain additional funding as they start to ramp,” said Karl Mundorff, Director of the Accelerator. The Accelerator assists local startup companies in all stages of their growth and supports the regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem

Bend-based Onboard Dynamics received a $100,000 investment. The company offers a low-cost system for natural gas compression for commercial fleet operators.

Corvallis-based eChemion received a $75,000 investment. The company provides technology that dramatically enhances the lifespan of grid energy storage batteries.

Corvallis-based Wisedoc, also an Accelerator client company, won the Speed Pitch competition. Wisedoc received a $2,500 prize for winning the competition. The company is developing software to help researchers quickly and easily format journal articles for submission.

The 2018 Conference raised $495,000 from local angel investors and including Willamette Valley Capital Investors.

The WAC also utilizes student interns from Oregon State University to perform due diligence work. This year’s interns included five from OSU: Shanmukh Prasad Challa, Brianna Renee Falsetto, Scott Laughin, Chiara Marzi, and Brett Wilkerson.

“We are very proud to partner with the Willamette Angel Conference in providing our student interns a great experiential opportunity to develop their analytical skills and be a true member of the diligence teams,” said Mundorff.


OSU Advantage Accelerator Contacts:

Karl Mundorff, Director



Sanjai Tripathi, Commercialization Catalyst


#TakeControlYourSole with ShoeBio

By Sydney Borek.

“Sneakerheads” are dedicated to fashion and are all about authentic and rare shoes.

Scouring dozens of websites for the ultra-exclusive pair of shoes can be a sneakerhead’s nightmare. Finding the best price on those shoes can add all the more frustration and wasted time.

ShoeBio provides customers with a one-stop option to find the shoe of their dreams at the best price.

Benjamin “Benny” Steinhorn and Mitchell Stebner started ShoeBio near the end of 2017. Steinhorn said that both he and Stebner’s lives have revolved around ShoeBio since then.

They both study Business, Marketing and Entrepreneurship in the OSU College of Business. Stebner approached Steinhorn with the idea after Stebner had a similar experience to what ShoeBio sees as their target market—people who love sneakers but want to pay the lowest price.

“We both worked for Nike and Adidas … with about ten years combined experience. We’ve helped thousands of customers over the years, really heard their stories, experiences and … their struggles, and this is really where this idea got sparked,” Stebner said.

As with any startup, ShoeBio has hit some bumps in the road on their journey to make their idea become reality. The largest they’ve had to overcome is the creation and refinement of their website. They are currently smoothing out issues before releasing it to the public.

Steinhorn wished to share some wisdom he and Stebner have learned saying, “Self-learning and self-teaching and learning through real-world experiences helps you create that ground base [to build your dreams].”

They have been invited to speak at the Innovation Showcase after winning second place in OSU Advantage Accelerator’s Next Great Startup. Steinhorn and Stebner have also won second place in both The New Venture Championship and the Draper Competition at Smith College winning a total of about $30,000 for the improvement of their company.

Stebner and Steinhorn wish to thank all those who have helped them, including OSU Advantage Accelerator, Oregon State University and the advisors and professors who all have fostered the creation of their platform.

Steinhorn and Stebner are excited to launch ShoeBio and would love feedback. Their emails are mitchell@shoebio.com and benjamin@shoebio.com, and they can be found on Twitter at @shoe_bio.

Electric Logistics creates the U-Adapt battery converter

By Sydney Borek.

C and D batteries are heavy, inconvenient, and expensive compared to AAA and AA batteries.

It is a hassle for hikers to carry extra packs of the heavy batteries just for flashlights while most equipment uses smaller sized batteries.

Electric toys for children also often require these larger batteries, causing a need for parents to have these batteries on hand at all times to keep kids happy.

What if every flashlight, toy and other battery-powered device could just take AAA or AA batteries? Then hikers, parents and others would no longer have to keep a stock of the sparsely-used C and D batteries.

Electric Logistics has created a battery adapter that takes the smaller, more common AAA and AA batteries and adapts them into C and D batteries.

The Electric Logistic team consists of five OSU students: Nathan Tamashiro, Alan Li, York Lai, Alex Nguyen, and Yvette Chau. Tamashiro, Nguyen, Chau, and Li are in the College of Business. Tamashiro and Nguyen are studying Business Management, while Chau and Li are studying Marketing. Lai is a Computer Science major within the College of Engineering.

“The big problem [for the consumer] is the inconvenience of having to go to the store [to buy C or D batteries],” Tamashiro said.

To test prototypes, Electric Logistics uses 3D-printing. Since he and the other business majors are not ‘science-y’, as Tamashiro put it, Lai is the one who creates and tests the prototypes.

Tamashiro stated one of the biggest challenges surrounding their student-run company is adjusting to the lack of instructions for the business world. “I think everyone is going to face this challenge when they leave school to work in the real world,” Tamashiro said. “As entrepreneurs, that reality hits you harder than anyone else, because there is really truly no guide or rubric telling you exactly what you need to do.”

Electric Logistics is currently enrolled in the Launch program with the OSU Advantage Accelerator to receive guidance. The company will be sharing their story at the upcoming OSU Advantage Innovation Showcase, on May 8.

The current device from Electrical Logistics, called U-adapt, an AAA to D adapter, and other adapters will be brought to the market soon. Electric Logistics also has a plan to create adapters that work with rechargeable batteries.

Preorder a U-adapt (AAA-D) here: http://www.electriclogisticsllc.com/

Follow Electric Logistics for updates on their products:

WiseDoc makes formatting research papers easy

By Sydney Borek and Sanjai Tripathi.

For many academic researchers, “publish or perish” is the imperative. They need to publish quality journal articles each year to establish and advance their careers.

Doing the research and writing these articles is hard enough, but researchers face one additional hurdle before they can submit: formatting to the exacting standards of journal publishers.

A typical researcher has to publish three to six articles per year, and might spend tens of hours formatting each one.

The time cost is huge, but two OSU PhD students are developing a solution: a software called WiseDoc.

Bo Wu and Akash Kannegulla are the co-creators of WiseDoc. The solution is a cloud-based service that helps academics quickly and easily format their content to the required specifications of journal publishers.

The idea for WiseDoc came to Wu and Kannegulla after they themselves struggled with formatting their research as Electrical Engineering PhD students at Oregon State University.

WiseDoc users can select the template for their target journal and insert their research content. Then WiseDoc will format the content to the selected template. WiseDoc also will be able to reformat any previous content in case the publication was rejected for another submission.

“In one click,” Wu said, “everything will be set up.”

The team has developed a functional prototype of WiseDoc and are currently integrating the program into a website, where users will be able to test it and give feedback.

Recently, they entered and won the 2018 “Shark Tank” pitch competition hosted by the Willamette Innovators Network. As a prize, they are invited to present at the 2018 Willamette Angel Conference in May.

The software continues to be “buggy” as Wu put it, but the team is working things out and developing new features. Wu shared something he was told during his work with the OSU Advantage Accelerator program: “As engineers, you want a perfect product. But there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ product for the market.”

Wu and Kannegulla are now looking forward to sharing their product with other people. They hope that, with WiseDoc, researchers can take the time they previously would spend formatting and instead spend it working toward impactful research goals.

A Slice of PAI Protects the Company Network

The PAI Security team

A foreign operative, a sophisticated hacker, or even just a disgruntled employee could be the one to do it. IT managers know, the computer networks of major corporations, universities, hospitals and other organizations are vulnerable to attack from any source.

Hardware-based keyloggers are a particular threat. These devices are surreptitiously placed on computers to steal login and password credentials from unsuspecting users, and those credentials are used to access the system. Hackers use these to steal data, install ransomware or otherwise cause havoc.

PAI Security is a student-run startup team that is fighting back. Harry Herzberg (pictured above, right) is the CEO of PAI and a Computer Science major at Oregon State University. He and his colleagues developed the “physical attack interruptor” prototype, which combines hardware and software to stop hardware keyloggers from accessing a system.

The PAI team includes Ben Brandeberry (pictured, above, left), a student in Business; Matthew Gilbert (above, centered), an Electrical Engineering student; and Zachary Elliot, a student in Computer Science.

The team went through the OSU Advantage Accelerator’s ITERATE program to develop their value proposition and learn customer discovery techniques. They are currently in the second stage ACCELERATE program, and also competing in the University’s Next Great Startup competition.

Harry credits the Accelerator for helping him refine his pitch and introducing him to business mentors and others. PAI is pushing ahead full steam, talking to customers, developing the prototype and continuing to refine their pitch.