Tufts University Announces Winners of $100k New Ventures Competition

April 14, 2016

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Kalimah Redd Knight

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. A software platform that enables accurate and non-invasive diagnosis of brain disorders and a service that alleviates the counseling gap between community college students and community college transfer advisers were among the top winners of the 12th annual $100k New Ventures Competition, organized by Tufts’ Gordon Institute’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program. The annual competition draws entries from alumni, faculty, staff, and undergraduate and graduate students from across the university.

Eighteen finalist teams competed for prizes and in-kind services totaling over $100,000. Winners represented an array of academic disciplines and solutions for a variety of societal challenges. Teams competed in three tracks: health and life science, social impact and general/high tech.

First place winners were:

BrainSpec, a software platform that enables efficient, accurate and non-invasive diagnosis of brain disorders, won the health and life science track.  For doctors who diagnose and treat brain diseases, BrainSpec aids in diagnosing a wide range of neurological disorders including brain tumor progression, Alzheimer's disease, temporal lobe epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury.

ULink, which supports community college students with degree completion, won the social impact track. Through an integrated end-to-end service, ULink alleviates the counseling gap between community college students and community college transfer advisers. This platform was built to be accessible to all community college students in their journey to reach a four-year institution and obtain a degree.

Mimir Insights, which aggregates funding, publication, and clinical trial data into a single, searchable database for research tool companies, won the general/high-tech track. Mimir’s online platform helps these research tool companies find the researchers they want to sell to and empowers sales teams with the information they need to close sales. Mimir Insights was also the recipient of the Audience Choice Award, given to the highest-potential project as voted by event attendees.

Hujambo in the general/high-tech track was the winner of the Ricci Interdisciplinary Prize. This prize is awarded to a project that best demonstrates interdisciplinary engineering design and entrepreneurial spirit. Hujambo provides inexpensive, quality smart phones and utilizes 3-D printing and smaller, more compact circuit boards to develop these cost-effective phones.

“With entries from all nine colleges, the Tufts $100k New Ventures Competition celebrates the full spectrum of innovation at Tufts,” said Inge Milde, director and senior lecturer of the Tufts Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies Program. “The competition shows a slice of what makes Tufts exciting and unique, including world-class research, active civic life and global impact.”

Speaking at the awards ceremony was American businessman and entrepreneur John Sculley, who discussed "Purpose Led Innovation" at the Alan Shapiro Entrepreneurial Lecture Series

Corporate sponsors for this competition included Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Lowenstein Sandler LLP, Allied Minds, Cummings Properties, WilmerHale, The Capital Network, MassChallenge, durable creative and LaunchPlan.

For a complete listing of all of the winners in the 2016 competition go to: http://gordon.tufts.edu/competitions/2016-winners.

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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 campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university is widely encouraged.