Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jacobs School Researchers Vie for UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge Prizes

Update 06/28/13: Videos of the talks are online. You can link to them from here, and here.

Update 06/10/13: And it's a clean sweep for the Jacobs School of Engineering! GrollTex won first place in the Technology/Innovation category on June 7.

UPDATE 06/05/13: DevaNano won first place, Wolf Biosciences won second place and Electrozyme won the audience choice prize in the MedTech/BioTech category.

Four Jacobs School graduate students will be in the spotlight tomorrow during the finals of the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge.

Inanc Ortac, who won second place back in 2011 and won the 2012 Collegiate Inventors Competition, is back. His company, DevaNano, plans to commercialize a nanoscale smart therapeutic drug delivery platform. It is capable of protecting otherwise immunogenic enzymatic payloads from the immune system while maintaining enzymatic activity. Ortac is a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering and a graduate student researcher at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. 

Adam Young, a PhD candidate in bioengineering in Karen Christman's lab is part of Wolf Biosciences. According to Bruce Bigelow from Xconomy, Wolf Biosciences is "pioneering a novel approach to soft tissue repair and augmentation by using an injectable material just beneath the skin to encourage new fat growth."

Joshua Windmiller, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of NanoEngineering, is co-founder and CEO of Electrozyme. The company has developed proprietary temporary tattoo biosensors that measure the chemical constituents of the wearer's sweat. The first target application is sports performance and fitness monitoring.

Ortac, Young and Windmiller are competing in the MedTech/BioTech category.

Aliaksandr Zaretski, a Ph.D. student in NanoEngineering, is competing in the Technology/Innovation category. His company, GrollTex, has developed and patented a method to fabricate large-area graphene, transparent conductive electrodes inexpensively, locally and with zero waste. He explains the technology in this YouTube video.

The first-place winner receives $20,000 in cash, as well as legal, brand development, tax consulting and credibility review services, as well as a one-year free membership to CONNECT. The second place winner receives $10,000 in cash and legal, tax consulting and credibility services and the free CONNECT membership. All finalists also are accelerated to the final round evaluation by start-up incubator EvoNexus.

Click here for a complete list of finalists.

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