CLEVELAND — On its website, the CES is billed as the "most influential tech event in the world."

This year, some northeast Ohio entrepreneurs are among the more than 3,200 exhibitors at the annual CES showcase in Las Vegas. 

What You Need To Know

  • Case Western Reserve University brought a group of entrepreneurs to showcase their startups at CES 2023

  • Among the businesses represented are Irides and Foto Photonics

  • This is the university's 10th year to participate in the showcase

The entrepreneurs are part of a group of presenters backed by Case Western Reserve University, and participants said it’s a big opportunity for them. 

Brian Shell came up with the idea for Irides, a travel application that puts about 50,000 traffic and weather cameras in one location, inspired by his time storm chasing. 

“A pretty big wake-up call for the need to have a better way to tell what’s happening on the ground,” he said. “A need for ground truth without putting people in harm’s way.”

Shell studied atmospheric science at Ohio State University. He enlisted his dad’s help to put the plan into action. His father, Dan, is a 1981 graduate of Case Western Reserve University and a computer science professor. 

“With my background, I knew what I wanted to do, but I didn’t really have the computer expertise to make it a reality,” said Brian Shell. 

Irides is one of nearly 10 different startups exhibiting with Case Western Reserve University at CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show. This marks the 10th year the school’s presented at the event. 

Travis Johnston, a 2021 Case Western graduate, said it’s an opportunity to highlight his alma mater and home state. 

“And their start-up ecosystem and overarching midwest start-up ecosystem, because it’s something that gets overlooked significantly,” Johnston said. 

He’s the director of market strategy for Folio Photonics, a company developing high-density disks with higher storage capacities and lower cost. 

“It can fundamentally change the digital infrastructure of not only 100, 1,000 or 10,000 organizations, but nearly every organization on the planet,” Johnston said. 

He said he’s excited to have the chance to share the innovations they’ve achieved on the world stage, and hopeful to build partnerships to continue moving forward. 

“The northeast Ohio region has such a deep history in the polymer science space and the extrusion space that I believe our technology could not have been developed anywhere else,” Johnston said. 

The CES showcase runs Jan. 5-8 in Las Vegas. 

Editor's Note: “Reserve" has been added to the headline of this story to reflect the full name of the university. (Jan. 10, 2023)