According to studies by the American Nurses Association and others, current patient transfer practices place nurses and patients at risk of serious injury and cost care facilities millions of dollars. Arianna Carley and her team founded the medical device company, AOE Med, to solve the problems associated with patient transport. To put an end to the inefficiencies, high costs, and pain that result from current practices, AOE has designed a bariatric patient transfer chair, the Alps Transfer Device, capable of moving the patient from chair to bed and back at the simple flip of a switch.
“The goal of AOE Med is to make patient transfer seamless, efficient, and safe,” says Carley, who created the venture with her partners Eliyahu Fox (College of Literature, Science and the Arts BA, Minor in Entrepreneurship, 2015) and Darren Cheng (College of Engineering BSE, 2017).
“I had always liked the idea of starting a company, but I never really believed that I could – since ‘I was just a student’,” says Carley. But an introductory entrepreneurship course (ES 212, Entrepreneurial Business Basics) changed her mindset. Since then, Arianna has taken advantage of nearly every entrepreneurship offering at Michigan. She and her team took home two prizes at the Zell Lurie Institute’s Michigan Business Challenge at the Ross School of Business this year, including the Most Successful Undergraduate team award for $2,500 and one of two Outstanding Presentation awards for $2,000. Arianna is also part of the first cohort of the Entrepreneurs Leadership Program (ELP) at the College of Engineering, and has participated in countless competitions and student group activities.
“Despite doing all of these things, it was that first class that really made the impact,” she says. “It transformed my belief that I couldn’t start a business into one where I knew that I needed to, and without that I would never have discovered my passion for innovation and entrepreneurship.”
That passion has fueled Arianna’s work with AOE Med as well as work on two other startups: Netanomics, a dynamic software analysis company, and Plastered Pastries, a baked goods company, both of which have positive profit.