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Ocumulsion, based on a UTHSC technology that is a sustained drug delivery formulation for lowering intraocular pressure and treating glaucoma, took first place. The team members were awarded $499 each in prize money. The TSeeR team came in second place and the team members were awarded $400 each. The third-place team, Hydralos, was awarded $300 per team member.


The 2018 Memphis Scipreneur Challenge (MSC) participants completed an 8-week training and outreach program emphasizing the technology commercialization process through educational materials, training sessions, and coaching from experienced scientific and business professionals. The final pitch competition was held at Memphis Bioworks on Thursday, March 15th. A total of five teams participated.

“The second year of the Memphis Scipreneur Challenge was very successful. All five teams did a great job at the final pitch competition highlighting the business case for their selected technology with informative and compelling presentations. By combining an entrepreneurial learning experience for students and postdocs with actual biomedical technologies developed at Memphis research institutions, the Scipreneur Challenge is unlike any other local event.”

Dr. Richard Magid, UTRF Vice President

About MSC:

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 is an 8-week training and outreach program that showcases STEM-related intellectual properties (IPs) being generated at Memphis’ premier research institutions and provide entrepreneurship training to students and scientists. The participating teams, comprising of scientists, students, clinicians, and scientific and business mentors present a business plan for commercializing IP owned by our partner institutions and compete to win prizes in a final pitch competition, judged by the Memphis business community.

It begins with an IP overview, in which the technologies from the 3 institutions (UTHSC, SJCRH, UofM) are introduced to the participants, who are then formed into teams by ranking which IP they want to work on. There are 4 education sessions (Business Model Canvas, Regulatory Affairs, IP, Pitching) and then the competition. Teams have 5 minutes to present, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A with the judges. The judges are local investors and tech transfer professionals.


Participating Teams

Hydralos Power Systems (UofM)

Metal Complex Catalysts and Uses Thereof
Dr. Emily Sansevere, CEO
Dr. Murugendra Vanorotti, CSO
Dr. Terrence Jones, CFO
Purnimo Singh, CMO
Inventor and Scientific Mentor:
Dr. Xuan Zhao
Business Mentor:
Michael Hoffemeyer, Director -Crews Center for Entrepreneurship

SuDeep (SJCRH)

System Design and Method for Verifying 3D Dosimetric imaging
Dr. Satish Kallappagoudar, CEO
Dr. Sunitha Kodidela, CSO
Dr. Jayadev Mavuluri, CFO
Geetika Singh, CMO
Inventor and Scientific Mentor:
Dr. Vadim Moskvin
Business Mentor:
Rebecca Bramlett, Program Manager, Zero T 051 0 Medical Device Accelerator

Ocumulsion (UTHSC)

Sustained Drug Delivery Formulations for Lowering Intraocular Pressure and Treating Glaucoma
Dr. Bindumodhov Morathe, CEO
Elham Hatomi, COO
Dr. Joelle Magne , CSO
Dr. Monique Payton, CFO
Aaron Chakraborty, CMO
Inventor and Scientific Mentor:
Dr. Monica Jablonski
Business Mentor:
James Bell, President and Founder, Medical Device Guru, LLC

TSeeR (SJCRH)

Rapid Cloning of T Cell Receptors
Aisha Souquette, CEO
Dr. Gyanendra Kumar, CFO Dr. lkbale El Ayachi, COO
Xizhi (Johnny) Guo, CSO
Dr. Mohona Sarkar, CMO
Inventor and Scientific Mentor:
Dr. Paul Thomas
Business Mentor:
Dr. Isaac Rodriguez, PhD. Co Founder, CEO/CSO- SweetBio, Inc

Chitosmile (UTHSC)

Novel Chitosan-Amorphous Calcium Phosphate-based Toothpaste for Pediatric Use
Dr. Anannya Bhattacharya, CEO
Dr. Sworna Beesetti, COO
Dr. Leonid Breydo, CSO
Zaid Temrlkar, CFO
Alexander Richards, CMO
Inventor and Scientific Mentor:
Dr. Liang Hong
Business Mentor:
Chris Przybyszewski, Executive Vice President, US Biologic

MSC 2018 program (pdf)

The Memphis Scipreneur Challenge (MSC) is an entrepreneurship-based competition organized by Life Science Tennesee Mid-South Academic Alliance in collaboration with Memphis Bioworks Foundation, the University of Memphis (UofM}, University of Tennessee I Health Science Center (UTHSC}, and St. Jude; Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH).

Life Science Tennessee related article:

Ocumulsion, first place winners of the 2018 SciPreneur Challenge

Memphis Scientists and Entrepreneurs Compete in Second Annual SciPreneur Challenge
After an 8-week program featuring seminars on technology commercialization and business presentation, the Memphis SciPreneur Challenge culminated in a final pitch competition on March 15 at Memphis Bioworks. Ocumulsion, a UTHSC-based technology that is a sustained drug delivery formulation for lowering intraocular pressure and treating glaucoma, took first place at the event.

The Memphis SciPreneur Challenge is in its second year and is an entrepreneurship-based program administered by Life Science Tennessee’s Academic Alliance and supported by Memphis’ premier research institutions, entrepreneur organizations and professionals. Each team gets a current technology that is in the portfolio of UTHSC, St. Jude Research Hospital or the University of Memphis. Students take part in training sessions that touch on business model evaluation, regulatory affairs, intellectual property and pitching.
Five teams and more than 30 people participated in this year’s competition. Sponsors of the event included: University of Tennessee Research Foundation, St. Jude Research Hospital, St. Jude Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Memphis, Memphis Bioworks, Start Co. Epicenter Memphis and Medical Device Guru, LLC.

For more information, visit www.memscichallenge.org and stay tuned for information on next year’s competition!