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10 companies started by college students

By: Sidney Stevens on April 16, 2015, 1:12 p.m.
Nishanth Samala, founder of Strados

Photo: Neil Gupta

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Strados

Nishanth Samala was a typical struggling college student when his car went on the fritz and the mechanic hit him with a disheartening list of costly, hard-to-understand problems to be fixed (many of them debatable). Right then, Samala decided it was time to help drivers learn car-speak and take control of their wheels. In February 2014, the Illinois Institute of Technology senior launched Strados, a low-energy device that plugs into your car's diagnostics port, then transmits easy-to-comprehend data about the vehicle's health via a smartphone app. It warns you about mechanical problems in the making (i.e., before they get expensive) and arms you with potential solutions and cost estimates. Added environmental bonus: good maintenance improves your car's fuel efficiency and keeps it out of the junk yard longer.