Medical Devices Top Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Challenge
November 20, 2008
Ute S. Frey
UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
An implantable epilepsy treatment from Singapore that could benefit more than 50 million epilepsy patients around the world won the $25,000 grand prize at Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge, held at the University of California’s Haas School of Business on November 20.
Nine finalists presented their business ideas to leading venture capitalist judges from Silicon Valley. The finalists had traveled to Berkeley from as far as Singapore, Poland, Mexico, India, China, and Canada.
The winning team NeuroMOD Technologies from the National University of Singapore is currently developing a company to design, develop, manufacture, and market its implantable medical device, called the NeuroMOD Epilepsy Control System (NECS). The device is focused on treating epilepsy and could address other neurological disorders.
Another medical device, Polyskin from the National Institute of Immunology in India, won the second prize that came with $10,000 cash. Polyskin is developing an affordable solution to manage burn wounds, an issue that affects more than a million people in India every year. Polyskin’s drug encapsulated polylactide (PLA) particles, an approved, bio-compatible polymer, hopes to replace current, more expensive wound treatments.
The third prize winner uses an environmentally sound process to tan high-quality leather in China. SCU Panda Park’s technology from Sichuan University would eliminate harmful tannery waste water that has threatened the country’s environment. The team won $5,000 cash.
Nano Precision Medical, the UC Berkeley/UC San Francisco team, was voted top team by the attendees of the final award presentation on Nov. 20. Nano Precision is developing a novel, implantable technology called NanoFlow that can deliver a wide variety of therapeutic molecules with high precision and at low cost. The company’s first product in development is a treatment for chronic Hepatitis C. The People’s Choice Award comes with a $5,000 cash prize.
All teams participating in the final events at Berkeley enjoyed the opportunity to present their business plans to leading venture capital firms of Silicon Valley, including Intel Capital, Intel's venture capital arm and one of the world's largest technology VC organizations. They also participated in a best practices workshop on Internet Marketing & Business Strategies for budding entrepreneurs at the Haas School of Business on Tuesday, Nov. 18.
Co-hosted by the Haas School's Lester Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and by Intel Corporation, the Intel+UC Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge (IBTEC) seeks to identify ventures around the world that promise the greatest positive impact on society through the commercialization of new and truly innovative technologies. Top winners of business plan competitions around the world are invited to present their plans at Berkeley every fall. This was the fourth annual IBTEC competition.