UC students recognized as top innovators
Cincy Inno, Dayton Inno name students to 2023 Inno Under 25 lists
Cincy Inno recognized three UC students as part of its 2023 Inno Under 25 list. Nukes de Almeida Nuku-Graves was one of five entrepreneurs to lead the Inno Under 25 list while Haley Rich and Mallika Desai were named to Cincy Inno's Watch List.
Nuku-Graves, a fifth-year fine arts major with a concentration in video game development, digital art and animation, has created her own video game, Cryptid Coffeehouse. The visual novel/dating simulator has been played by about 16,000 people, generating approximately $4,000 in sales.
“On the surface, the game is just a dating simulator. But if you go a little deeper, it’s about human existence and human relationships and being queer and wanting to be close to somebody,” the 20-year-old Nuku-Graves said. “For queer kids who spend a lot of time online because they don’t find enough community within their own in-person circles, it’s important — not only seeing themselves in a media, but knowing they can make this media, too.”
The final version of Cryptid Coffeehouse is scheduled to be published in November.
Rich, a 2023 graduate of the industrial design program, has multiple concepts under patent review for aircraft interiors and six consumer product designs on shelves nationally at major retailers through her co-op work. The 24-year-old was a NEXT Innovation Scholar at UC.
Desai, a medical sciences student, founded the nonprofit Parkinson’s Together, which provides care to individuals with Parkinson’s and offers opportunities for students to participate in clinical research. The 21-year-old is a NEXT Innovation Scholar and has worked with UC's Center for Entrepreneurship.
Miles McClurg, a 2023 graduate who studied finance and operations management, was one of five entrepreneurs recognized by Dayton Inno. The 24-year-old has helped to develop a new costing system that saves hours of time, started website management and marketing for his family business and implemented a new business-to-business sales software system.
Additionally, Darren Baldwin, one of the entrepreneurs recognized by Cincy Inno, works with UC corporate partner Tembo, which has space in the 1819 Innovation Hub.
Featured image at top: Nukes de Almeida Nuku-Graves, a digital artist and video game developer, works on a laptop at the Esports Innovation Lab in the 1819 Innovation Hub. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand