Austin Thompson (JD ’17) and Professor Steve Virgil need your vote in Nano Startup Challenge in Cancer

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Austin Thompson (JD ’17) and Professor Steve Virgil are members of a Wake Forest cross-disciplinary team competing in this year’s Nano Startup Challenge in Cancer. In order to advance into the next round of the competition, the video created by C6ENTINEL needs to have the most votes. Voting for their video on Youtube by giving the video a “thumbs up” ends on Friday, April 22.

C6ENTINEL’s mission is to provide positive healthcare outcomes through access to regular and affordable detection methods. With an investment of $1 million and an initial product time to launch target of two years, they plan to take gene hybridization out of yesterday’s markets and straight into the food safety industry. Learn more about their project in the description of their Elevator Pitch on Youtube.

The Nano Startup Challenge in Cancer is a project of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI). The NIH has a significant portfolio of inventions available for licensing and the CAI has evaluated many of them to identify those with the strongest commercial viability. A public-private industry partnership called Translation oNanotechnology iCancer (TONIC) was established with the goal of accelerating the translation and development of nanotechnology solutions for the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Together with the NIH and CAI, they have launched this start-up challenge to exploit these opportunities.

The competition itself has four phases:

Phase 0 – Enter Challenge: Teams provide information regarding the invention they have chosen to develop their business plan around, details and backgrounds of the members of their team, and how team members meet eligibility requirements.  Teams also outline their intent to participate in the Challenge.  Only teams that have the intent of creating a start-up will be accepted into the Challenge.

Phase 1 – Elevator Speech: Teams develop a two minute elevator speech via recorded video; a 350 word executive summary outlining potential commercial product(s) and company vision.  Winners of this phase will be the semi-finalists to move on to Phase 2: Business Plan

Phase 2 – Business Plan: Teams develop a 10-page business plan with a detailed financial plan as well as a 20 minute “live” pitch presented to the Challenge judges.  The winners of this phase will receive a $2000 award per team that is provided by CAI as well as move on to Phase 3: Start-up.

Phase 3 – Start-up: Teams launch their start-ups, including company incorporation, apply for licenses, and executing other regulatory/developmental needs.  Note: 2.5% equity in every winning startup created out of this challenge will be granted to one of the pharmaceutical companies supporting the Challenge; .5% royalty income will be provided to another one of our pharmaceutical companies.  Additionally, a board of advisers seat will be awarded to this external company (no fiduciary responsibility)