This week we had the opportunity to meet with two members of our 2018 cohort, Sarah Snider and Brent Kaplan of BEAM Diagnostics. What you may not know about our cohort members is that many of them continue to work full-time jobs while they are in the program. For both Sarah and Brent, this was the case. Not only were they completely committed to their time with RAMP-in-Residence, but they also found the delicate balance to continue to maintain their working positions as well.

During their time in the program, incredible opportunities began occurring financially for BEAM. They won several pitch competitions and were awarded various grants. Now that they have graduated from RAMP-in-Residence, we are checking in to find out what projects they are currently focused on and what they feel were the biggest benefits of their time with RAMP.

BEAM is currently collecting data from their alcohol beta prototype app. As they continue to obtain data and funding, they will apply their research and funds toward developing an opioid version of their app. In six months’ time, they hope to have more data collected as the app goes through trials and is used more frequently. Success for the company at that stage would be to receive grants for the opioid target app.

Success, however, will not come without struggles. The team notes that their biggest challenge upon graduating from the RAMP-in-Residence program will be the lack of day-to-day interactions and collaboration with fellow cohort members and access to the RAMP environment. They believe that this, as well as the workshops and networking opportunities, were some of the most beneficial parts of the residential program. During their time in RAMP-in-Residence, they gained connections to people that they would not otherwise have been able to access and were able to strategize and create a more cohesive business plan alongside their mentor.

Both Sarah and Brent state that they do keep in contact with their mentor regularly, typically meeting together once per month. They have plans to meet more frequently in the future, but for now, this schedule seems to work.

Their advice to those considering the RAMP-in-Residence program for their STEM-H startup company – put as much time into the program as you can and collect as much data as possible when given the opportunity, especially when talking to potential customers! Do you want to learn more about applying to RAMP-in-Residence? Visit the cohort application page of our website for more information.

About the Company

BEAM Diagnostics, Inc. is founded on the concept that self-control failure underlies a wide range of negative health, safety, and financial behaviors. As the first of many applications, BEAM has chosen to focus on alcohol misuse by developing BEACON, an app that generates a patient’s reinforcer pathology score (RPscore) as a quantitative measure of alcohol misuse severity to a clinician in under 4 minutes. BEACON addresses many limitations present in current substance-use screening by saving time, reducing stigmatization, and promoting preventative screening for a debilitating disease.