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STC.UNM Hosts Inaugural Elevator Pitch Competition

Albuquerque, NM – April 1, 2015 STC.UNM hosted an Elevator Pitch Competition for University of New Mexico students last week in partnership with the University of New Mexico Innovation Academy and Anderson School of Management’s Business Plan Competition. The groups of participating students were from various parts of UNM including the Schools of Medicine, Engineering, Architecture and Planning, and Management.

The competition, held on Friday, March 27, was an opportunity for the student and student teams to present, in a very short amount of time, technology-based ideas enthusiastically, confidently, and credibly so that judges could understand the social/economic value of the ideas and their commercial prospects. The students really rose to the challenge and received valuable feedback from the judges. The pitch was open to any student or group of students from any UNM school or college.

Group of Participating Students

In the first round, 18 students on 13 teams had 3 minutes to make a convincing case about their technology or business. A panel of guest judges decided on the top 10 teams to move on to the final round. Those judges included Susan Cornelius from Accelerate2Solutions, Dr. Robert DelCampo, Director of the UNM Innovation Academy, Wayne Laslie, CEO of local start-up Zocere, Inc., Cindy McGill, CEO of McGill Executive Consulting LLC, and J.T. Michelson, Chairman of the New Mexico Angels.

In the final round, held at the Anderson Business Plan Competition banquet in the evening, the finalists had 90 seconds to pitch their groundbreaking ideas and win five prizes of $2,500 to each of the five winners. The winners were decided by audience voting. More than 100 attendees were excited to participate and cast their votes for the following winning pitches:

Harry Pappas – doctoral student in nanoscience & microsystem engineering
Mr. Pappas pitched his disposable textile for prolonged disinfection in clinical settings. Mr. Pappas and other researchers are developing disinfecting wipes that will allow healthcare professionals to disinfect various surfaces in a clinical setting. Their disinfecting wipes will enable healthcare professionals to maintain a clean work place with minimal side-effects to the patient and user.

Natalia Vladimirova & Humberto Lopez – graduate students in architecture and planning
The team pitched their design for a shading structure, called Breathing Canopy, which provides protection from rain and allows air flow through the structure. The design comes in two options: fixed structure and adjustable structure, which the air flow can be controlled.

M. Frank Erasmus – doctoral student in biomedical sciences
Mr. Erasmus pitched his biologic modulator development and treatment design for critical membrane receptors in childhood B Cell Precursor Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (BCP-ALL).

Jacqueline De Lora and Jonathan Dorsey – doctoral student in biomedical sciences and doctoral student in nanoscience & microsystem engineering
The team pitched their μSIM Tissue in a Sophisticate Box technology that is a complex in vitro model that is more representative of human tissue. Drug screening can be done approximately twice as fast as traditional methods with a better translation to animal models, reducing drug development costs by reducing failed drug candidates proceeding to expensive animal testing.

Jennifer Lake – MBA student
Ms. Lake pitched her cloud software system and wearable device used for managing patients with chronic illnesses ranging from heart conditions to diabetes, as well as acute, short term conditions such as high risk pregnancies. It is designed to eliminate unnecessary healthcare visits, provide greater healthcare access to rural patients, and ultimately, to empower patients to manage their own healthcare while reducing overall costs.

STC.UNM congratulates all the students who participated in the Elevator Pitch Competition.

From Left to Right: Susan Cornelus, Wayne Laslie, Rob DelCampo, Cara Michaliszyn, Cindy McGill, and J.T. Michelson

Also, see Dan Mayfield’s March 30, 2015 article, “UNM biz plan winners share in $75,000,” from Albuquerque Business First at http://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/blog/bizventures/2015/03/unm-biz-plan-winners-share-in-75-000.htmlSource: STC.UNM

For more information, contact:

Denise Bissell