This year we had 17 MBS students and 8 (PhD-educated) PPM students across seven teams. The students worked with four external sponsors (plus KGI) to develop detailed business plans — product, sales, marketing, operations and financing — for the patented invention provided by (in most cases) the university technology transfer office.
The teams included therapeutics, research tools/services and a medical device:
- Elegans Therapeutics: a novel treatment for asthma (California Institute of Technology)
- Insituomics: improved visualization of RNA transcripts (California Institute of Technology)
- Click-Brains: software that analysis neurological MRI scans (Children’s Hospital Los Angeles)
- Klondike Therapeutics: improved therapy for anthrax (Keck Graduate Institute)
- Cardiovascular Cell Source: improved quality supply for endothelial cells (UC Merced)
- Mucotherapeutics: therapy to clear mucus for COPD (UC Merced)
- Innovfusion: improved epidural infusion pump (BioFactory Pte. Ltd)
- Robert Baltera, a director of the San Diego Venture Group, former CEO of Amira Pharmaceuticals until its acquisition by Bristol-Meyers Squib, a 17 year Amgen veteran (and a KGI trustee)
- Craig Brooks, angel investor, head of two current life science startups (BCN Biosciences, Biostruxs) and a 19 year Amgen veteran who formerly worked for Procter & Gamble
- Robert Curry, partner of Latterell Venture Partners, former general partner of Alliance Technology Ventures, former faculty member at the University of Delaware (and chair of the KGI trustees)
- Stephen Eck, vice president of Astellas who previously worked for Eli Lilly and Pfizer, a board-certified hematologist/ oncologist (and a member of the Board of Advisors of the KGI School of Pharmacy)
- James Widergren, a former senior VP, group vice president and treasurer of Beckman Coulter, angel investor (and a former KGI trustee)
|Head judge Bob Curry with the winners of KGI’s 2014 business plan competition:|
Jagan Choudhary, Jixi He, Ashi Jain and Melanie Ufkin
Entrepreneurship is the lifeblood of any high-tech industry, including biotechnology and the related life science industries that have arisen over the past 30 years. Being entrepreneurial — and applied — are two of KGI’s core values, that we try to embody in our programs, courses, events, faculty and students.
Mark and I want to thank all the judges, the university sponsors and of course our student entrepreneurs for all the hard work that made this event possible.