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Lehigh students getting their wings at national interactive festival

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Kira Gobes is one of the Lehigh University students participating at the Red Bull Launch Institute at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. (file photo)
Kira Gobes is one of the Lehigh University students participating at the Red Bull Launch Institute at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. (file photo)

A number of Lehigh University students are in Austin, Texas, after being chosen to participate in the Red Bull Launch Institute. The institute, designed to “give students and their ideas their wings,” is part of the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival.

Invited from Lehigh:

Kira Gobes, who is developing a product called Loop, which is a smart bracelet that teaches programming to middle school girls.

Soterra, a team led by Lena McDonnell and Michael Wu, which is developing affordable personal safety technology for women.

Only six teams from across the nation were invited. An event spokesperson explained that just being invited is an honor.

At the institute, students will be involved in panel discussions and networking and can engage in individual team work with mentors to help them advance their business plans.

Speaking from Austin, Gobes told Lehigh Valley Business she is very excited to get feedback on the development of her product.

“This is the first experience I’m having with Loop outside of the Lehigh Valley,” she said. “While it’s been great to get that local validation, it’s good to get feedback and perspective from outside my comfort zone.”

She said with the hardware- and software-intensive nature of The Loop, it makes outside advice from different experts even more valuable.

Gobes is a senior majoring in computer science engineering and design with a minor in entrepreneurship.

A senior, McDonnell is majoring in computer science with concentrations in international relations and data science.

Wu is a sophomore, studying biomedical engineering and finance with a minor in graphic design and entrepreneurship under the Integrated Business and Engineering honors program.

This isn’t the first honor for either team, while Soterra and Gobes have been featured in Lehigh Valley Business before for their product development efforts.

Click below to read more.



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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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