This past Tuesday, 8 finalists pitched their start-up ideas to judges in hopes of winning big prizes to make turn their ideas into reality. After two hours of pitches, the judges picked four outstanding teams, with an emphasis on bio-tech and health, to take home prizes. Meet our winners: Sanguis, Carbolytics, NanoXCell, and Stellar.
Sanguis, founded by Divyansh Agarwal (Yale ’15), Daniel Zhang (MIT ’15), and Prateek Agarwal (Harvard ’15), is a portable blood cell monitoring device that allows cancer patients to measure their blood cell counts in a cost-effective, accessible, and simple manner. The device is similar to a glucose monitor, where patients would prick their finger and use a chip to analyze their blood. This would allow these patients to predict infection before it is too late, and to contact their physicians for preventative treatment instead of having to go to the ER and face high-cost emergency treatment. Their product has been tested on several clinical samples, and they are already in partnership with Jefferson Health. Sanguis took home first place at Pennvention.
The second place winner was Carbolytics, founded by Vikram Krishnamoorthy (C’20, W’20) and George Pandya (M&T ’20). Carbolytics is a cell therapy platform that uses a microfluidic circuit embedded with a carbon nanopipette that automatically detects the penetration of cells, allowing for automation of the process. This technology can be used to reprogram cells to tackle diseases in a precise and scalable manner with unlimited capacity at a low-cost, beating out current cell therapies that use viral vectors.
NanoXCell Therapeutics, founded by Daniel Lundgren (C’18, W’18), Patrick Lundgren (University of Oxford MsC’18), and Shelby Wilkinson (C’18, W’18), came in third place. Their technology also uses carbon nanopipettes, but aims to help patients with different genetic skin diseases by using a gene therapy process that will allow the transfer of genes larger than the current viral vector technology can store. Treatment is currently difficult because of the size of the gene that leads to these diseases and because of the dominant trait of the disease. NanoXCell solves both of these issues in an automated and inexpensive manner.
Stellar, founded by Hyung Jin Yoo (SEAS ’18), Lila Cohn (SEAS ’18), EricTepper (SEAS ’18), and Haimin Yie (SEAS ’18), took home the Social Impact Award. Stellar is an app that helps those who are dying engage with friends and family, helping to alleviate the social isolation and disengagement that can result when people are near the end of their lives. The app allows the caregiver to form a team of friends and family who can arrange visits, leave voice memos, or contribute to a team album with pictures and other memories that allow for meaningful conversation and engagement. The app will also include product and service recommendations that can help ease the patient’s experience based on what their disease or complication is.
Congratulations again to all our winners, and for all the finalists as well!