(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
Students at UMB are looking to form new startups that will bring change to a range of different areas in healthcare and beyond, from the pockets where nurses keep supplies to the ways that drugs are delivered.
Six entrepreneurial teams presented ideas to grow new companies on Tuesday evening at the GRID in the University of Maryland BioPark.
The Grid Pitch, held for the first time in the five-month-old hub inside the Lion Brothers building, offered a chance for University of Maryland Baltimore students to assemble teams to offer ideas that could lead to the foundation of a new startup.
— Technical.ly B'more (@TechnicallyBMR) May 2, 2018
With UMB’s medical school and pharmacy school, the ideas were in healthcare and biotech. But the process of getting that company in front of people who can help it grow is familiar across many disciplines.
According to GRID Faculty Executive Director Jenny Owens, each team worked over a month to hone their pitch skills. David Wise, director of the University of Maryland Momentum Fund, provided mentoring. It wasn’t a competition, and each team received $1,000.
Here’s a look at the companies:
Cystech: Pharmacy student My Ngo is leading a team seeking to create non-invasive methods of detecting and monitoring bladder cancer. The commercialization strategy is based around the development of biomarkers.
Stock-It-Pocket: Katherine Tuttle pitched a team creating a stick-on pocket that can be worn by nurses and doctors to allow healthcare equipment is available right away. The team also includes Aaron Callahan, Lindsay McMahon, Julia Baca, Kevin Fan, Miranda Marks and Evan Heim.
Dapken: Fahim Faruque pitched a test called BevaDx that would determine whether a cancer patient is a good candidate for a treatment called Bevacizumab. The team also includes Chuka Udeze, Kevin Loh, and Natalie Park.
Urban Algae: Growing algae on rooftops is the main goal for Kelsey Abernathy and Dan Fucich. The University of Maryland College of Environmental Sciences students are working to develop bioreactors that would create algae for dietary supplements. They want to grow the algae on Baltimore city rooves.
Last but not least, @MEESProgram students Kelsey Abernathy and Dan Fucich present Urban Algae, whose mission is to provide the public with toxin-free algae & revitalize city spaces by fitting them with microalgal green roofs. #GridPitch @TheUMGrid pic.twitter.com/lkXg4DxTWq
— University of Maryland, Baltimore (@UMBaltimore) May 1, 2018
Inducent Therapeutics: Christian Kinney pitched Therapy X. It’s a drug platform designed to help treat chronic illnesses with a biological therapeutic in a small number of doses.
TheraSol This team is specifically targeting a treatment for the spread of triple-negative breast cancer. Raqeeb Jamil said the treatment includes plant-based proteins, specifically taro extract, as the pharmaceutical ingredient. The team also includes Sebastian Bilitza and Teddy Dunning, Aurasch Moaven and Viqar Hussain.
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