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VIDEO: Westford Academy Alumnus Hosts STEM for Girls Program on Patent Process, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship


In this episode of STEM For Girls By Girls in STEM, Westford Academy graduate and UConn senior, Serena Beri, describes the process and challenges of obtaining a patent for one of her own inventions, an Ultrasound Probe Holder. By using soft robotics technology, Beri developed a non-contact ultrasound which can prove useful during a pandemic as well as having other advantages.

Beri also talks with the Program Director of Women Entrepreneurs at Cornell University, Andrea Ippolito, who herself is an acknowledged entrepreneur. Ippolito is co-founder and CEO of the two successful companies, SimpliFed and Smart Scheduling, both of which are focused on mobile health tools and intelligent apps. With women making up only 12 percent of patent inventors and holding only 5.5 percent of commercialized patents, Ippolito explains why she feels that the gap between women and men getting patents and intellectual property is concerning.

“It’s critical”, said Ippolito. “It’s critical for all sorts of reasons. The statistics are dire. Typically patents are one barometer, one symptom, should we say, of innovation and commercialization. Why put together a patent unless you seek some value out of it? It’s not always about commercialization. I was at a company and they were happy about me patenting something.”

This is Beri’s seventh episode in a series of 10 she has planned to air on WestfordCAT.