The 2017 inaugural class of participants completed a 7-week training and outreach program emphasizing the technology commercialization process through educational materials, training sessions, and coaching from experienced scientific and business professionals. The competition culminated Wednesday, April 5th with a final pitch competition at Memphis Bioworks.
The program showcased STEM-related intellectual properties (IPs) being generated at Memphis’ premier research institutions and provided entrepreneurship training to students and postdoctoral fellows. The participating teams, comprised of research scientists, business students, clinicians and mentors presented business plans and competed to win prizes in a final pitch competition, judged by the Memphis business community.
It started with an IP parade, in which the 6 technologies from the 3 institutions (UTHSC, SJCRH,UM) were introduced to the participants, who then were formed into teams by ranking which IP they wanted to work on. There were 4 education sessions (Business Model Canvas, Regulatory Affairs, IP, Pitching) and then the competition. Teams had 5 minutes to present, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A with the judges. The judges were local investors and tech transfer professionals. A total of six teams participated in the final pitch competition.
Nanoseyet, the nanoparticle intraocular drug delivery system, took first place and the $4,000 prize. The Nanotrode and ProteinPaint teams tied for second place and were awarded $2,000 each.
“I think that the inaugural SciPreneur challenge was a huge success. In a very short period of time, teams of trainees at multiple levels from various Memphis institutions created de novo companies centered around technologies that were generated at UTHSC, St. Jude and U of M. This would be a major challenge for even more seasoned professionals. Despite the short period of time and the fact that none of these individuals have any experience with a start-up company, the six teams rose to the occasion and generated business plans, executive summaries, slide decks and incredible pitches.
I am honored that my nanoparticle technology was selected to be included in this year’s challenge. I am also so proud that my team, Nanoseyet, won first place in this year’s event. They all worked very hard and really gelled as a unit, which I think was key to their success. Even though this was an exercise, every member of Nanoseyet was fully committed to creating a real business. They reached out to me for guidance on scientific issues and Kayla Rodriguez Graff, their business mentor, for guidance on business-related aspects. By combining our mentoring with the knowledge they received from the various seminars they attended on topics ranging from regulatory affairs to customer discovery, they created a solid foundation for a bona fide company. Team Nanoseyet inspired me to do the same. As I move forward in that direction, I will likely call on members of my team for help.”Dr. Monica Jablonski
Nanoparticle lntraocular Drug Delivery System
Daniel E. Bastardo Blanco
Raji Rajesh Lenin
Monica Jablonski, PhD
Kayla Rodriguez Graff, MBA
Mobility-Preserving Back Support
Denis J DiAngelo, PhD
Intelligent and Robust Multi-Factor Authentication Technology
Dipankar Dasgupta, PhD
Allan Daisley, MBA
Dry Electrodes for Vital Sign Monitoring
Bashir Morshed, PhD
James Bell, MBA
Avian Influenza Vaccine
Ajeeth Kumar Pingili
Richard Webby, PhD
Chris Przybyszewski, MA
Web App for Visualizing Genomic Data
Xin Zhou, PhD & Chadwick Lynnis Riggs, MBA
The Memphis Scipreneur Challenge (MSC) is an entrepreneurship-based competition organized by LifeSciTN’s Mid-South Academic Alliance in collaboration with Memphis Bioworks, University of Memphis (UofM), University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH).
MSC showcases IPs being generated at Memphis’ premier research institutions and provides entrepreneurship training to students and postdoctoral fellows. The participating teams, comprising of research scientists, business students and mentors, present business plans and compete to win prizes in the final pitch competition, judged by the Memphis business community. MSC is similar to UTRF’s Tennessee Venture Challenge and other regional TechVenture Challenges.