Undergraduate Admission

Abbie Kohler

Student Profiles

Class of 2020 | Newtown, Connecticut | Biomedical Engineering

Abbie has a bachelor’s degree from Brown in biomedical engineering. She is co-founder and CEO of ResusciTech, a smartphone-based CPR training and certification solution that she began developing during her studies at Brown. She holds a master of business creation from the University of Utah.

I chose Brown because I was excited about how passionate everyone was. I attended A Day on College Hill (for admitted students) and people were so excited about pursuing their interests. It’s an environment that’s intellectually stimulating and open. People aren’t quiet about opinions that might be controversial and I liked being challenged in that way and getting into friendly debates.

I’ve wanted to be a biomedical engineer since I was in middle school but it was the Open Curriculum that led me to explore art classes and medical illustration, which gave me the opportunity to spend time at Rhode Island Hospital. That’s where I overheard how difficult it is to do CPR, which motivated me to study it and ultimately launch my startup. 

I worked as a research assistant and data analyst during my four years at Brown. It was an amazing experience that exposed me to the grant funding process and gave me the skills I needed to start developing software to analyze data, which was very important in the research and development phase to launch my company. Our grant funding comes from some pretty big names, including the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health. I wouldn’t have been as willing or confident to jump into the grant world without my experience in research at Brown. 

I received amazing support from the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship at Brown. When I was starting ResusciTech my junior year, the Nelson Center provided me with micro grants and I did B-Lab (Breakthrough Lab) in the summer of 2019. I won third place in the Brown Venture Prize later that year. My formal education was in math and science and the Nelson Center taught me the business side of things. I did an independent study with a Nelson Center professor to build our go-to-market strategy.

The entirety of the education I got from the School of Engineering plays a role in my work and gave me the problem-solving skills I’m using. My co-founder and I utilized the Brown Design Workshop makerspace a ton. I got to do an independent study for the second semester of my capstone and they supported me through setting up a usability study for ResusciTech.

Our startup is bringing CPR into the future and removing time and cost barriers for people to get trained. We offer people the capacity to do CPR training from home and we’re focused on making our content engaging so that people interact with the information and learn it better. We’re very interested in creating technology to improve people’s lives. We launched the app to the public in March of 2021 and we have channel partners that market and sell the app, including the American Council on Exercise. At this point we’ve trained thousands of people in CPR.