UNeTech Institute wins EDA’s $300,000 prize for innovation, tech-based development
The UNeTech Institute—an entrepreneurial support organization and startup incubator affiliated with the University of Nebraska Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center—has won the 2022 Economic Development Agency’s Build to Scale Competition. UNeTech joins recipients from across the country, part of a $47 million investment to fuel innovation and tech-based development. The $300,000 award,…
The UNeTech Institute—an entrepreneurial support organization and startup incubator affiliated with the University of Nebraska Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center—has won the 2022 Economic Development Agency’s Build to Scale Competition. UNeTech joins recipients from across the country, part of a $47 million investment to fuel innovation and tech-based development.
The $300,000 award, called the “Omaha Medical Technology Development Alliance,” is a continuation of the 2019 “Omaha Medical Technology Pipeline.” The 2019 Pipeline leveraged resources throughout the city to build medical technology startups. The award will allow the alliance to better engage with regional, national and international investors, as well as provide ongoing support to existing and future medical technology startups.
“UNeTech has shown that you can launch viable startups like Microwash and Impower Health,” said Rodney Markin, MD, PhD, director of the UNeTech Institute, associate vice chancellor for business development and the David T. Purtilo Distinguished Chair of Pathology at UNMC, “but they cannot thrive without support and capital.”
Located on the UNMC campus, UNeTech Institute is Omaha’s only university-supported startup incubator and provides funding for projects that fall between basic science research grants and private investment – often called the valley of death.
UNeTech works with inventors and entrepreneurs, to help advance university intellectual property towards commercialization. It supports the work of the University of Nebraska faculty, staff, researchers and students. UNeTech offers services like technical prototyping, customer discovery and entrepreneurial matchmaking.
In supporting startups, the Omaha Medical Technology Development Alliance will expand UNeTech’s existing collaboration with the UNO College of Business Administration.
“The MTVA has been game changer for students. Across UNO and UNMC, it has provided transformative opportunities for students to learn how tech startups get going, how they craft their strategies and how they eventually get off the ground,” said Brent Clark, PhD, professor of business strategy and academic sponsor of the Maverick Technology Ventures Alliance, a student-led program that provides business strategy analysis reports based on university intellectual property. The alliance will continue the program, started in 2020, for another three years.
Jace Gatzemeyer, PhD, UNeTech’s innovation development strategist, crafted the proposal, which seeks to build a more robust investment ecosystem in the Greater Omaha area.
“UNeTech and its partners have been able do some incredible work advancing medical inventions to the prototype and proof-of-concept phases,” said Dr. Gatzemeyer. “Connecting those startups with committed investors has proven more challenging. This grant from the EDA will support our ongoing work to seek out, learn from and organize local investors, creating a network of folks to whom startups can pitch their innovative new medical technology concepts.”
Joe Runge, JD, associate director of UNeTech, expressed gratitude to the EDA for the grant and to the University for providing matching funds to support the program. “UNeTech is fortunate to have support from the EDA, UNMC and UNO to continue to grow these important opportunities for students, faculty and startups. With so many great projects lined up, I am just so grateful for the opportunity to keep going.”
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