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After year-long program, students pitch at BioVentures 2010

Above: A video compilation of student group project pitches presented by one of the team members from each team. The ideas and businesses presented were those of partners of Creighton University’s Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program.

About 70 people gathered this past Wednesday evening at Creighton University to listen to pitches from students following their year-long participation in Creighton’s Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program. Titled BioVenture 2010, the third annual event had the student groups present their business plans and posters for the projects they had been working on with their sponsors.

While last year’s projects revolved around the students’ own technologies, this year’s paired up groups of students with early stage companies or young projects within established companies. This year’s projects were (descriptions from event program):

  • Kizer Gastronasal Tube is an improvement to make feeding tubes currently used in hospitals, nursing homes and elsewhere less miserable in terms of insertion and long-term use, invented by Creighton pediatrician, Dr. Bob Kizer
  • Medletters is a user-friendly, web-based tool for doctors to communicate diagnoses, treatment plans, and followup instructions to patients and their families by local entrepreneur Dr. Doug Morin
  • SCOUT is a new, less invasive, cancer diagnostic tool that can potentially replace current diagnostics such as mammograms for breast cancer by local biotechnology company Transgenomic, headed by the company’s CEO Craig Tuttle

After the votes were counted, the Kizer group was named winner, taking home a stack of $100 bills – an attendee “ticket” to the event as well as the attendee’s “vote” – totaling over $2,000.

The winning team, the Kizer group, poses for a picture with their graduation plaques after the ceremony. Photo by Danny Schreiber.

The students involved in the Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program include both undergraduate and graduate students and their full-time student concentrations fall into areas such as business, health science, law, and natural science programs.

“It takes three different parts, or three different disciplines, to successfully commercialize technologies in bioscience, and those are law, business and science,” Anne York, PhD said, director of bioscience and entrepreneurship at Creighton University. With this in mind, the diversity of students in the program is critical to its success.

Here’s York talking more about the students in the program:

Here are a few photos I took during the course of the event. The evening kicked off with presentations of the business plans, then the group recessed to a cocktail party with student poster presentations for about 20 minutes, and then everyone gathered again for the program’s graduation ceremony and the pitch winner announcement.

A view from the back of the room during the pitches.

Bob Kizer, PhD, holds onto a version of the current gastronasal tube used while explaining his improved tube.

Part of the Kizer group’s poster pointing out the problems the Kizer gastronasal tube addresses.

Doug Morin, PhD, opens the MedLetters group pitch by telling his personal story of starting MedLetters. On his left is his wife, Gayle Novotny-Morin.

Joseph Fromanek of the MedLetters team walks through an example MedLetters letter.

Ann York, PhD, gives remarks following the student group pitches.

Tom Chapman of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce speaks with SCOUT team member Roy Norris during the poster presentations.

Ann York presents Joseph Formanek with his graduation plaque for completing the Bioscience Entrepreneurship Program.

Read our coverage of last years’ event: Three teams compete at BioVenture 2009.

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