Posted: April 24, 2007
A team of Ohio State graduate students offering a new approach to medical imaging for detecting breast cancer that would replace painful biopsies and the stress-inducing mammography won one of the nations most prestigious technology business start-up competitions, the 2007 Materials Research Society (MRS) Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Physics students Michael Hetzer and H. Lee Mosbacker; Fisher College of Business MBA student Erwin Grabisna and Lawrence Burr Zimmerman, a chemical engineering doctoral candidate, brought back the laser-etched crystal trophy and $3,000 grand prize award to Columbus. The team was mentored by Michael Camp, academic director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Fisher.
The MRS Entrepreneurship Challenge is an international competition that pairs students and professional materials scientists and engineers with business school students to develop concepts for materials-based start-up companies. The final round of competition was held at the 2007 MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco on April 10.
This competition was highly competitive and it offered a great opportunity to showcase the entrepreneurial and scientific expertise at OSU, Mosbacker said. The networking alone was extremely valuable as we met investors, scientists, educators and entrepreneurs from around the world. We hope that our efforts will solidify future collaborations at OSU and help promote commercialization in central Ohio.
The team presented a business plan for new medical imaging technology, Advanced Digital Imaging System. The system, still under research and development, would eventually have the capability of detecting cancer without painful compression that accompanies mammography, according to the team. The business case forecasts that the new technology could increase revenue streams for hospitals and clinics and reduce billions of dollars in biopsy costs and treatment for late stage cancer treatment for patients.
The technology utilizes an array sensor for medical imaging based on a spintronic functional polymer. It was developed by Arthur Epstein, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics and the Department of Chemistry. Epsteins technology was patented through the Office of Researchs Technology, Licensing and Commercialization (TLC) team and was made available by the office to the Center for Entrepreneurship. The Technology Entrepreneurship Commercialization Academy also provided support to the students.
This was an extraordinary win for Ohio State and an example of students leveraging research expertise and resources across Ohio State to develop a project that impressed international and national scientists and business executives, Camp said.
The graduate students joined forces in Fishers Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Academy, a graduate specialization program under the direction of Camp and the Center for Entrepreneurship.
There were two rounds in the competition that began with 18 teams last fall. Ohio States team was one of three universities selected for the final round based on their pitch presentations for materials-based technologies. Their presentations were evaluated by venture capitalists selected by the Society. Ohio State competed in the final round against teams from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Rutgers University.
This is an excellent team of students and entrepreneurs who identified a technology and came up with an exciting new paradigm and identified a business application that was in reach of realization, Epstein said. They chatted with me directly to understand the technology on a deeper level. They met with people at the Technology Licensing and Commercialization group and found out what would be the potential market.
The team has also advanced to the final round of the 2007 Deloitte Business Plan Competition, co-sponsored by Fisher College of Business, to be held on May 11.
About the Materials Research Society
The Materials Research Society is a not-for-profit scientific association founded in 1973 to promote interdisciplinary goal-oriented research on materials of technological importance. Membership in the Society consists of more than 14,100 scientists from industry, government, academia and research laboratories in the United States and nearly 50 other countries. For further information about the Materials Research, its products and services, contact Anita Miller at the Materials Research Society, 506 Keystone Drive, Warrendale, PA 15086; phone 724-779-3004 ext. 551; fax 724-779-8313; or E-mail at email@example.com. For the most up-to-date information, visit the MRS Web site at www.mrs.org.
About the Technology Licensing and Commercialization Team
Technology Licensing and Commercialization is the university unit charged with fostering a campus-wide entrepreneurial culture; catalyzing faculty, staff, and student inventions; maximizing the value of OSU developments; and accelerating the transition of these developments into new products, services and jobs. They cultivate, negotiate, license and manage all commercialization-focused initiatives for the University. In addition, this team sponsors, or partners with others, to sponsor student projects with potential for significant economic development or commercialization results.
About The Center for Entrepreneurship
The Center for Entrepreneurship at the Fisher College of Business is an official academic center of The Ohio State University. Launched in November 2001, the Center supports academic research and education in entrepreneurship. In addition, the Center facilitates entrepreneurial learning and experiences that will impact a global economy and stimulates economic growth by assisting new company formation and graduating students who possess strong entrepreneurial skills and experiences.Patricia Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org), 614.292.8937
Nick Houser (email@example.com), 614.292.8001