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NEW: Providence Will Be Incubator for Creative New Toy Company

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Jerry the Bear is moving to Providence.

Actually, the creators of this cute, plush, and innovative interactive toy for children with type 1 diabetes are on their way to Brown University to spend this winter incubating their fledgling company. And building 10 Jerry the Bears in the process.

Helping kids deal with diabetes

It all began with the DiabetesMine competition in early 2009, that brought together Northwestern University students Yuri Malina, Mert Iseri, and Hannah Chung to brainstorm the question: "How can we help the lives of children living with diabetes?" The idea of a cute, interactive critter like Jerry took form, and the proposal won the most creative award in the competition.

In September of 2010 Northwestern student Aaron Horowitz joined the team. As part of an independent study with Northwestern Robotics Professor Michael Peshkin the team built its first talking bear. Horowitz applied for and won the Dell Social Innovation Fellowship based out of Brown, and enjoyed the mentorship, training and a $4,000 financial award to advance his product.

After his fellowship at Brown in the summer of 2011, Horowitz upgraded the prototype and gained a reinvitation from Brown's Director of Social Entrepreneurship, Alan Harlam, to return with fellow team-leader Hannah Chung back to incubate the project. Their goal: 10 Jerry the Bear prototypes and clinical trials with Jerry in the spring.

The team will be posting updates on their incubation stay in Providence online, here.

Here's a look at Jerry during his early development at Northwestern.


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Michael Trenn

Doesn't sound like this will be a permanent addition to the "knowlege district."

Aaron Horowitz

So excited to be welcomed so warmly by Providence. Ever since my experience from the Dell Social Innovation Fellowship, working with Alan Harlam and all of the other terrific mentors, I couldn’t get over how supportive the entrepreneurial community was.

My first impressions were re-affirmed when I visited for A Better World by Design and was introduced to so many incredible people by Andy Cutler & Stephen Lane who just wanted to help out. I look forward to continue working with all of the amazing people I have met and be in a city that fosters entrepreneurship and a creative spirit!

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