Nov 24, 2021 | Atlanta, GA
LZRD Tech, a company founded by Georgia Institute of Technology and CREATE-X alumni Mike Pullen (B.S. Biomedical Engineering ’21) and Mat Quon (B.S. Biomedical Engineering ’19), was recently featured on astrophysicist & Hayden Planetarium director Neil deGrasse Tyson’s podcast, StarTalk.
On the episode titled “A Materials World – Hacks & Gizmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson and Jud Ready,” Tyson and co-hosts Gary O’Reilly and Chuck Nice speak with Dr. Jud Ready, adjunct professor in the School of Materials Science & Engineering at Georgia Tech, about some of his students’ inventions including the LZRD sleeve and how he applied his materials science knowledge to create a new tool for both industry and athletics.
The LZRD sleeve is a full-arm sleeve engineered to improve grip and assist during any carrying task. The product can be used by athletes, delivery drivers and busy moms, just to name a few.
So where did the idea for the LZRD sleeve come from? Pullen, a former high school football wide receiver, wanted a way to protect his arms while simultaneously increasing ball security, since common polyester compression sleeves are slick when they meet the ball, increasing the chance of fumbling. After enrolling in MSE 3300-Materials Science & Engineering of Sports, a course founded and taught by Dr. Ready, Pullen worked with Quon to bring the idea of the LZRD sleeve to life.
Pullen and Quon carefully integrated the inner hemisphere of the sleeve with grip-enhancing LZRD technology, creating 4x the amount of friction with cardboard than a cotton sleeve. They also partnered with NexTex Innovations to incorporate NexTex’s new TurboDry™ technology into their sleeves, a moisture wicking fabric that transports moisture away from the wearer’s skin. In addition, they designed the sleeve to block both UVA and UVB rays and provide the wearer with the protection they need to prevent painful abrasions.
The product had such promise, Pullen and Quon were chosen to participate in Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X Startup Launch accelerator program during the summer of 2020, a program Pullen refers to as a one-stop shop for startups.
Fast forward to today: Pullen serves as the CEO of LZRD Tech where he works alongside Quon (COO) and Dr. Ready (CTO) growing his company’s brand in the entrepreneurial world. While the LZRD sleeve was the original idea, LZRD Tech is now also selling fabric to big brands for integration into a wider line of products.
Click here to watch the full StarTalk episode featuring CREATE-X student startup LZRD Tech.
CREATE-X is a Georgia Tech initiative to instill entrepreneurial confidence in students and empower them to launch successful startups. The broader goal of this initiative is to provide the knowledge, skills, abilities, and experiences that will give Georgia Tech graduates the confidence to create their own future and confidently pursue entrepreneurial opportunities.