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Creating The Connections that Drive Innovation

Progress is about more than just ideas—it’s about creating relationships and communities that can change the world.

Creating The Connections that Drive Innovation

Technology today has become far too complicated for entrepreneurs to go it alone; behind a groundbreaking innovation you’ll find a dedicated, creative, and multidisciplinary team. Collaboration is the currency of business.


FedEx, which is in the business of connections (think packages, people, and places), certainly thinks of innovation in that vein. The Access FYI: FedEx Young Innovators List, the company’s new digital series, explores how highly inventive entrepreneurs bring together ideas, technology, or people to arrive at a new solution, a new destination.

Here’s how two of these young innovators embody exactly the type of connectors the tech world needs to solve complex, global problems:

[Photo: FedEx]
Simone Braunstein is a remarkable (and remarkably young) “soft” robotics expert. That is, robotics that employ soft, flexible materials such as plastic, rubber, or fabric for dynamic environments and tasks.

As a high school student, she created an award-winning haptic glove to provide surgeons with an improved sense of touch that can better guide them through robotic-assisted surgery, potentially increasing the number of patients who might be candidates for these kinds of procedures.

Now a freshman at Harvard University, Braunstein got the idea for her breakthrough from watching her grandmother’s difficult recovery from invasive, traditional heart surgery. “A low percentage of procedures use minimally invasive robotics surgery technology,” says Braunstein. “If robotic surgery could be tailored to additional surgical procedures successfully, thousands more lives each year might be saved.”

She founded Paradox Robotics, a company that sells turnkey soft robotics supply kits, advancing the emerging field by saving researchers and developers the time and resources it takes to source these critical, hard-to-find parts themselves.


Read more about how Braunstein achieved her early success and about her vision for the future of robotics here.

[Photo: FedEx]
Kathryn Finney is an author, entrepreneur, and founder of Digitalundivided, a social enterprise that aims to create opportunities for women of color in the tech industry. The organization recently launched the BIG Innovation Center in Downtown Atlanta, an accelerator that offers training, mentorship, and a collaborative workspace to tech-based startups founded by black and Latina entrepreneurs.

“I refuse to believe that the smartest people in the world–people who can build driverless cars and build rockets that land upright–can’t figure out how to get more black and Latino people in the door of their companies,” she says. “Instead, we’re working to change the face of who can be successful.”

For more views on innovation and the power of connection, see the full lineup of innovators and ideas featured on FedEx Access FYI List here.

This article was created and commissioned by FedEx.

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