More than 10 million Americans suffer from tremor disorders that affect their daily lives. A Laramie startup company, housed at the University of Wyoming, is working to provide a solution and recently received a grant to continue that venture.

Arnoldware Applications LLC develops hardware and software to help people with motion disabilities -- such as Parkinson's disease and osteoarthritis -- use touch-screen devices, including smartphones and tablet computers, according to a UW news release.

The company, which works out of the Wyoming Technology Business Center, recently received a Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative Phase 0 grant of $5,000. That funding was used to apply for a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant.

"This project started when my wife, Karolyn, had trouble reading the local newspaper on an e-reader. I was just tinkering around to find a solution for her,” company founder Mark Arnold said in statement. “Jon Benson and the staff at the Wyoming Technology Business Center encouraged us to start a company and work with the Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative to apply for the WSSI Phase 0 and the federal Phase I, a feasibility research study.”

The program facilitates the preparation of competitive proposals in the annual national $2.5 billion SBIR competition for Phase I -up to $225,000- and Phase II - up to $1 million- awards. Any Wyoming tech-based, for-profit small business or individual desiring to submit a Phase I/II proposal to any of the 11 participating federal SBIR agencies is eligible to apply for a WSSI Phase 0/00 award.

With its $149,930 National Science Foundation Phase I SBIR grant, Arnoldware Applications moved into the WTBC incubator in Laramie and hired employees. This past year, the team designed and tested multiple preliminary hardware and software solutions. Phase II will further develop the system that tested best during Phase I.

“Arnoldware’s research is addressing a real problem,” said Kelly Haigler Cornish, WSSI program manager in a statement. “If their Phase II grant application is selected, they will get the funding needed to develop a manufacture-ready prototype positioning the company to enter the assistive technology sector.”

Arnold agrees.

“If our product succeeds, it could help millions of people who have been cut off from the smartphone revolution," he said.

The WSSI is a UW program under the Wyoming Small Business Development Center and sponsored by the Wyoming Business Council. The mission of this partnership is to increase the number of federal SBIR awards received by Wyoming small businesses by providing funding assistance through the WSSI Phase 0/00 program.

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