JHU-born Treyetech picks up $30K at prominent business plan competition

The medical device startup won four awards at the Rice Business Plan Competition.

Treyetech's Kali Barnes and Eric Chiang with one big check.

(Photo courtesy of JHU Hub)

A medical device startup formed by Johns Hopkins students completing graduate degrees in biomedical engineering notched a series of wins at a startup competition that bills itself as the largest for companies founded by graduate-level students.

At this year’s Rice Business Plan Competition, Treyetech won more than $30,000 and an invite to an accelerator. In all, 42 teams were named finalists at the competition.

The company is developing a device that is designed to make corneal transplant surgery easier: Its device prepares and transports a donor’s cornea graft from an eye bank to a surgeon, and has specific advantages during the transplant itself.

According to the JHU Hub, team members Kali Barnes and Eric Chiang picked up the following awards at the Houston competition, just ahead of graduation:

  • $20,000 for JLABS@TMC Best Life Science Startup Prize ($20,000)
  • $10,000 for the Courageous Women Entrepreneur Investment Prize ($10,000)
  • $1,500 for fourth place in the semifinal round, flight 3
  • TMCx Life Science Accelerator Prize, which includes an invite to the program run by Houston-based TMCx

This follows a win for the company at the Texas Christian University’s Values and Ventures Business Plan Competition in 2017 and a Lemelson-MIT Student Prize in 2018. At Johns Hopkins, the team also received funding through the Ralph S. O’Connor Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Fund.

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