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Students pitch biomedical innovations in ‘Shark Tank’-style competition

For the first-time in a virtual setting, Virginia Tech students pitched commercialization ideas for biomedical products to a “Shark Tank”-style panel of judges during the annual Health Sciences and Technology (HS&T) Hokie Pitch.

The competition involved students from the translational biology, medicine and health graduate program, who worked with real-world mentors, selected intellectual property, and created an entrepreneurial plan to develop and commercialize biomedical discoveries.

Their work came into focus with teams making their pitches to a panel of judges and splitting $4,000 in cash prizes.

Winners were:

  • 1st Place $2,000, CytoKure Immunotherapies, a potential therapy to restore function in autoimmune diseases; team members Emma Henry, Jonathan Church, and Yuyang Dong; mentor, Greg Feldmann; intellectual property consultant, Natalie Melville.
  • 2nd Place $1,000, Lung Protect, a new way to make lung cancer screening more accessible; team members Fatima Quddos, Meghan Sedovy, and Chris Ding; mentor: Kevin Bloomfield; IP consultant: Zach Williams.
  • Most Creative $1,000, EZ-Cath, a safer, more comfortable intermittent urinary catheter; team members, Gates Palissery, Caiti-Erin Talty, and Addie Hayes; mentor, Victor Iannello; IP consultant: Zuzana Mironovova.

Rob Gourdie, a professor at the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics at Virginia Tech who has founded several biotech companies, planned the commercialization exercise.

To learn more, check out the whole article below.