3 Vanderbilt alumni that created germ-killing phone case return for 2020 commencement


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Some things in life are worth waiting for.

Saturday morning, Vanderbilt University’s class of 2020 will finally get their chance to put on their gowns and throw those tasseled caps in front of a crowd at their on-campus commencement ceremony.

It comes as universities across Tennessee announced changes to commencement ceremonies and summer classes out of concern for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Hundreds of former graduates returned to campus this weekend for an in-person celebration, including three men we introduced you to in April of 2020 after they created an antimicrobial copper phone case, Alloi, formerly known as Aeris.

“It probably took three to four months before it turned form a project to us deciding we were going to quit our jobs and do this full time, but we definitely did not expect to be doing this a year later,” Isaac Lichter said.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Nick O’Brien, one of the co-founders of Alloi. “We missed out on the first go around, but we’re very glad to be back. I think it wasn’t something we were holding up too much hope for, given everything going on, so hearing we got to come back and see everyone, you know, have our parents come back and have that sense of closure, we’re excited.”

Isaac on Day 1 of testing

Anchor down, a year later and the three finally have their cap and gown.

“You sort of build up the four years of college toward this climatic ending, which we didn’t have,” said Andrew Medland, another co-founder of Alloi.

“To see where the inspiration started, we went back to the house…it’s great to be back,” Medland said.

The three are closing one chapter, moving to another, looking back at where their book got its start; a Nashville garage.

They recently reached their 10,000th customer, now introducing a new range of products and metals, hoping to expand to water bottles and wallets. Further down the road, they hope to place antimicrobial copper in hospitals and schools.

“It’s really exciting to have made it this far,” O’Brien said.

Finishing what they started, where it all began. Congratulations you three!

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