Tufts Gordon Institute Names 13 Finalists Out of Record Number of Entries in $100K Business Plan Competitions

Finalists include a showerhead that would help users save water and a robot that would eliminate ticks from outdoor areas
April 2, 2013

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Alexander Reid

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MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Thirteen finalists in Tufts University's ninth annual business plan competitions will present their plans to judges on April 24 on the university's Medford/Somerville campus. Seven teams are competing in the Classic Venture Business Plan Competition and six are competing in Social Entrepreneurship.

The 13 finalists were chosen from a record field of more than 100 proposals, all of which reflect a range of academic disciplines at Tufts, including medicine, veterinary science, biomedical engineering, technology and bioengineering, said James Barlow, director of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program at Tufts Gordon Institute (TGI).

Barlow, who took the helm of the Entrepreneurial Leadership Program this past fall, said, "The unprecedented number of entries reflects the growing entrepreneurial interests of the entire Tufts community and the competition feeds into the university's innovation ecosystem.

"I'm excited to build on the momentum of the competition by continuing to support the growth of entrepreneurial ventures at Tufts via our inter-disciplinary entrepreneurial leadership program."

Winning plans in each competition will receive $50,000 in cash and/or in-kind donations. Corporate sponsors for the competitions include Allied Minds, Auster Capital Partners, Burns & Levinson LLP, The Capital Network (TCN), Cooley LLP, Cummings Properties, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp., Lowenstein Sandler Attorneys at Law, MassChallenge, and Savoir Media LLC.

Coordinated through the entrepreneurial leadership program at Tufts University's Gordon Institute, the two business plan competitions allow students and faculty from schools across the university to compete.

Finalists in the Classic Venture Competition are:

ALLSilk, presented by Tufts graduate students Amanda Baryshyan and Lindsay Wray and alumnus Evangelia Bellas—AllSilk proposes to develop all-natural personal care products for skin and hair using silk.

DeertickDrone, proposed by Professor of Infectious Diseases and Global Health Sam Telford from Tufts' Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine—DeertickDrone is a robotic tick collector that sweeps outdoor areas of ticks.

Fibrofilms Biotechnology, presented by Tufts Professor of Biomedical Engineering David Kaplan and Ph.D. candidates Andrew Reeves and Rod Jose —Fibrofilms Biotechnology proposes to use silk technology to create resorbable stents and end-to-end vessel couplers that release drugs to treat atherosclerosis and anastomotic stenosis.

Myoelectra, proposed by Cinzia Metallo, a graduate student in Tufts Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Science—Myoelectra has developed a novel electromyographic (EMG) electrode for rehabilitation of facial and throat muscles in patients suffering with Parkinson's disease.

MyPsych, presented by Tufts School of Arts and Sciences senior Brandon Cohn along with David Conway—The MyPsych computer application and website proposes to streamline communication between therapists and their patients.

SympSolutions, presented by Tufts alumnus Nathalie McClure along with Michael Batista, Stephen Dria, Hiren Mistry, and Hina, Shah, and James Su—SympSolutions proposes to provide non-invasive therapy for patients suffering from hypertension. The procedure would be conducted within a doctor's office.

Teemplay, presented by Tufts University senior J Becket Linn—Teemplay proposes a videogame platform that will use crowdsourcing as a way to create new games.

Finalists in the Social Entrepreneurship Competition are:

Dexterity Global, presented by Tufts freshman Sharad Sugar—Dexterity Global proposes to develop online and offline platforms to students in an effort to support and next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

EDx, presented by Tufts alumnus Eileen Guo—EDx proposes a new diagnostic tool more multi-drug resistant tuberculosis which would provide results faster.

Medivate, presented by Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy alumnus Frederick Meyer, along with David Hayes—Medivate is an online platform that proposes to help practitioners of mindfulness meditation maintain their meditation schedules

Prisna, presented by Tufts graduate student Celeo Guifarro—Prisna is a housing construction company with the objective of mass producing affordable housing in international communities.

SmartShade, presented by Tufts engineering management graduate student Jeremy Jo along with Andrew Krulewitz—SmartShade is an insulated and reflective window shade for homes that would reduce heating and cooling costs.

Uji, presented by Tufts seniors Brett Andler, Joo Kang, Tyler Wilson, and Sam Woolf—Uji is a showerhead that helps users save water by changing from green to red as users take longer showers.

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Tufts University, located on three Massachusetts campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville, and Grafton, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's eight schools is widely encouraged.