Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Duke Start-up Challenge 2009 – Day 2 Healthcare & Life Sciences
Welcome to the Duke Start-up Challenge – Day 2
Tonight’s continuation of Entrepreneurship Week and the Duke Start-up Challenge concentrated on two independent tracks for aspiring entrepreneurs to compete for cash prizes and recognition. This evening featured the Energy & Environment Track, along with the Healthcare and Life Sciences Track. Competition for each track was held in the Schiciano Auditorium at Duke University’s Fitzpatrick Center for Interdisciplinary Engineering, Medicine and Applied Sciences.
Day 2 of the Start-up Challenge featured 11 competing teams in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Track and 15 teams in the Energy & Environment Track.
Judges for the Healthcare and Life Sciences Track were:
Dr. Ralph Synderman ’67 – Chancellor Emeritus at Duke University and former President and CEO of the Duke University Health System.
Jonathan Gindes ’03 – CFO of Affinergy, Inc.
B. Jefferson Clark ’78 – Co-founder and General Partner, Aurora Funds
Judges for the Energy & Environment Track were:
Van Morris ’78 – CEO of US MicroGrid
Stacy Glass ’99 – President of CaraGreen
Jeff Keller – Representing General Electric’s External Technology Initiatives
The evening began with a lively introduction from Dr. Kwame Johnson followed by an opening address by Dr. Ralph Synderman. After his invigorating talk on innovation, competing start-up challenge teams took to the stage for a grand night of competition – entrepreneur style.
Healthcare & Life Sciences Track Competition Snapshot
Many cutting-edge and innovative company concepts were presented at the Healthcare & Life Sciences Track Competition. Company profiles pitched during this track of the Start-up Challenge include:
Medici Medical Technologies – Developing an innovative medical device implant to treat urinary incontinence.
Biogenic Medical Devices – Planning to utilize Cell Seeding Technologies to coat stents with a patient’s own cells, Biogenic Medical Devices aims to reduce the risk of serious complications from stent failure.
Prosodia - Developing a speech therapy device to assist users in improving prosodic elements of their speech, such as intonation, stress, and rhythm.
ImmunoDispense Pro - The ImmunoDispense Pro is an in-home device which safely and accurately dispenses powders to treat food allergies.
Healthcare & Life Sciences Track Update
Start-up challenge competitors pitched a wide range of business ideas and early stage companies. Competing teams were comprised of students within Duke University’s undergraduate, Master’s, and Ph.D programs. Competitors demonstrated great passion and determination to impress the judges and woo the live audience. Presenting to a packed auditorium, company concepts included:
SmartStance - SmartStance is a physical device that measures three facets of a person’s posture and alerts them when an improper posture is detected.
Centrosome - An interactive online media website designed to allow research scientists to take a hands on approach towards planning their experiments.
Eye Innovations - A device for Glaucoma patients that drains the buildup of fluid inside the eye by expelling it to the outside of the eye.
AuthentiForm - AuthentiForm plans to commercialize technology to reduce the risk of death from counterfeit drugs by utilizing a biological authenticating link between each unit dose and its origin.
Entrepreneurship Week – Day 2 Wrap-up: Healthcare & Life Sciences Track
Directly after the final student-led pitch, the judges were ushered into a private room to decide upon their choice for the Judges Choice Award. Simultaneously, the audience was invited to participate in the Duke Start-up Challenge’s live text-message voting system. Their votes were tabulated electronically to decide the Audience Choice Award.
Following impressive remarks from the judges pertaining to the overall strength of the entrepreneur’s pitches, the votes were tallied and the winners were announced:
For Participants in the Healthcare and Life Sciences Track:
People’s Choice Award: Biogenic Medical Devices
Judges Choice Award: Medici Medical Technologies
The winners of the People’s Choice Award and the Judges Choice Award will be allowed to compete at the finals competition on Friday, November 20th at the Fuqua School of Business.
Thanks to the efforts of the entrepreneurs, judges and audience members for a successful Healthcare & Life Sciences Track competition. Congratulations to all participants, and we hope to see you at the finals event on November 20th, from 5:30pm – 9:00pm at the Fuqua School of Business.