Rady MBAs Successful at UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge

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By Daniel Kane, Jacobs School of Engineering

The UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge took place on campus in June, with Rady MBAs on all three of the winning teams. These were interdisciplinary teams as the core technologies behind the top three finishers in the student-run business plan competition were developed by graduate students at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Team Biological Dynamics finished first. The winning business plan focused on their new early cancer diagnostic technology. Tritonics took second place. They are applying advanced biomedical engineering to eliminate clogging in medical catheters. Third place went to RADIOFAST, a venture whose technology enables “superman vision” in mobile devices.

The first place team, Biological Dynamics, has formed a startup company with the same name. The $15,000 in legal services and $27,000 in cash Biological Dynamics took home will go to secure intellectual property for the company.

The technology behind Biological Dynamics offers a better way to identify and separate secondary cancer biomarkers directly from blood, such as cell-free circulating high molecular weight DNA. Maya Agarwal, an MBA student from the Rady School of Management is on the team along with team leader Raj Krishnan and two other bioengineering Ph.D. students.

The second place team, Tritonics, is a San Diego based medical device company focused on applying advanced biomedical engineering to eliminate clogging in medical catheters. Starting with an application for hydrocephalus, Tritonics aims to apply this technology to chronic pain pumps, cancer chemotherapy delivery and diabetic insulin infusion. Team member and Rady MBA Kabir Gambhir has 10 years of experience in the biomedical device industry. Tritonics’ core technology was developed by a multidisciplinary team including biomedical engineering graduate students from the Jacobs School of Engineering.

The team will use their $20,000 in winnings from the UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge to enrich its device and further protect its intellectual property.

Led by ECE graduate student Mehmet Parlak of the Jacobs School, third place went to the RADIOFAST team, which includes Natalia O’Connor and Michael Alston.  Natalia is a second year FlexWeekend MBA student with a background in finance and investments.  Michael is a second year Full-Time MBA student who also earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UC San Diego in 1993.

In total, RADIOFAST took home $10,000 in legal services and $9,500 in cash from the UCSD Entrepreneur Challenge, which the team plans to use to secure intellectual property.  RADIOFAST plans to integrate proprietary terahertz-band silicon microchips into wireless high performance, low cost imaging sensors for next generation healthcare diagnostics and security applications.

The mission of the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge is to foster community involvement and technological innovation by bringing multi-disciplinary teams of engineers, scientists, and business-minded students together with local area entrepreneurs and professionals. Learn more at http://challenge.ucsd.edu/.

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