UC-backed, alum-founded startup
featured in Business Courier

Perceive Now receives $100K investment, selected for national accelerator

From a pool of more than 1,000 applicants nationally, a University of Cincinnati Venture Lab-backed startup was one of just six companies selected for a 12-week accelerator program.

The Cincinnati-based startup, Perceive Now, is an artificial intelligence-powered software company that provides business intelligence from millions of scholarly data sources to help businesses make better decisions on mergers and acquisitions, competitive landscape, funding trends and academic research and development.

Corporate development teams use Perceive Now to uncover merger and acquisition targets and funding opportunities. Research and development teams use Perceive Now to discover, explore and track emerging technologies, new scientific discoveries and fellow experts.

Screenshot of graphs from Perceive Now software

Example of data from Perceive Now software/provided

Along with startups from Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Ann Arbor, Michigan, Perceive Now was chosen for the 2022 Gener8tor Cincinnati Accelerator. The 12-week program, run by Wisconsin-based venture firm and accelerator network Gener8tor, offers benefits including mentorship and a $100,000 investment — $20,000 for 6% common stock equity, plus $80,000 of guaranteed follow-on capital.

Vinithia Thiyagarajan Upaassana poses inside UC's Matnei Center

Upaassana poses in UC's Mantei Center. Photo/provided

"Getting selected for Gener8tor's $100,000 investment from 1,000-plus applicants is a dream come true as an immigrant female founder with limited resources,” Perceive Now founder Vinitha Thiyagarajan Upaassana said.

The accelerator kicked off in September and will conclude Dec. 6 with a startup showcase in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine. During the showcase, the startups will have a chance to pitch themselves to investors.

Upaassana founded Perceive Now in March 2019 while she was pursuing a doctorate in biomedical and electrical engineering at UC. She received her doctorate during the spring 2022 semester.

Drawn to UC from her native India in 2015 because of the biomedical microelectronic device work taking place at the university, Upaassana has received numerous accolades for her entrepreneurship.

In 2018, Upaassana was part of the inaugural “25 Under 25” class by Cincy Inno, a digital media and events company covering innovation, startups and technology in Cincinnati. She was recognized for her work with Salichek, a startup she founded to provide rapid point-of-care sampling of saliva for ultra-sensitive detection of hormones.

“Perceive Now was a figment of my imagination four years ago.”

— Vinitha Thiyagarajan Upaassana

With Salichek, Upaassana’s team won first place in the UC Innovation Quest Elevator Pitch competition (IQ E-Pitch) in 2017. The project also received $10,000 in grant funding from the UC Center for Entrepreneurship and Commercialization.

Upaassana again won first place in the IQ E-Pitch in 2019 then finished second in 2020 for Collaborate, which later would become Perceive Now.

Perceive Now has received a $10,000 grant from Main Street Ventures in Cincinnati; $50,000 for $1 million in valuation from Silicon Valley accelerator MARL 5G and $100,000 for $2.5 million in valuation from Gener8tor Cincinnati. The startup is in the process of raising $500,000 in seed funding.

“Perceive Now was a figment of my imagination four years ago,” Upaassana said. “It is a reality today only because of the tremendous support I have received from [UC Carl H. Lindner College of Business] Center for Entrepreneurship, especially, Dr. Thomas Dalziel, professor Ron Meyers and Ms. Kate Harmon, who are indispensable mentors."

Read more in the Business Courier.

Featured image at top: Perceive Now founder Vinitha Thiyagarajan Upaassana/provided

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