VPA Spotlights

For hundreds of years, the fundamental mechanism of cleaning your teeth through physical brushing has not changed very much – just variations of toothbrushes with bristles. Tairan Li and Chao Huang, industrial and interaction design majors in the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ School of Design had an idea to modernize the age-old process, starting from the six-week Invent@SU challenge in the summer of 2017, they designed, prototyped and pitched a hands free device called Panacea that cleans all your teeth at once.

Li and Huang have grown their Invent@SU device into a business valued at $5 million. Both are still full-time students in VPA's School of Design, and travel to Boston on weekends where their company of six full-time employees is based. VPA alum, Mario Mercado ’99, has been mentoring the pair of young entrepreneurs as they continue to move forward their project