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Business plans for medical, energy concepts among UT competition winners

Creating an orthosis to help patients with drop foot condition. Regenerating bone and cartilage. Baking tasty treats sans sugar. These were the winning proposals selected last week in the inaugural UT Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan Competition.

Dr. Sonny Ariss, center, posed for a photo with Dr. Mohammad Elahinia, associate professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, left, who was an adviser for UT student Minal Bhadane, who won first place in the UT Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan Competition but couldn’t attend the award ceremony, and Dr. Sarit Bhaduri, professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, and surgery, who took second place.

Dr. Sonny Ariss, center, posed for a photo with Dr. Mohammad Elahinia, associate professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, left, who was an adviser for UT student Minal Bhadane, who won first place in the UT Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan Competition but couldn’t attend the award ceremony, and Dr. Sarit Bhaduri, professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, and surgery, who took second place.

Announced in April, the competition drew 49 entries by the September deadline. Twelve semifinalists were named in October.

“The University of Toledo is proud to recognize the technologically innovative ideas and solid business plans represented in these 12 proposals,” UT President Lloyd Jacobs said. “As a relevant university, UT understands the role we must play in advancing the global knowledge economy. This competition is a critical step in developing an innovation system that includes all the business tools and infrastructure involved in the successful application of new knowledge to create new products and services.”

The President’s Office provided the prize money for the first Innovation Enterprises Challenge Business Plan Competition.

“Rewarding innovative thinking and solid business plans developed by our own faculty, staff and students through this competition is one way UT can directly impact the creation of new jobs in this region,” Jacobs said.

“We are all very pleased at the volume of proposals submitted during this inaugural contest,” said Richard Stansley Jr., chairman of Innovation Enterprises. “These diverse and technologically oriented business plans clearly demonstrate innovative thinking within the UT campus. We trust it will continue to advance a creative culture of growth in all areas of the University.”

“We believe these business plans represent a solid foundation on which these entrepreneurs can build successful businesses,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, professor and chair of the Management Department. “The College of Business and Innovation stands ready to offer guidance to help these teams emerge beyond the University into the community. We want to see these ideas and business plans effectively implemented, creating jobs and enhancing the economic growth of the region.”

The winning proposals, the entrants’ names and a brief description of the winning entries are:

• First place, $10,000 prize: Smart Orthosis by UT student Minal Bhadane. The creation of a “hybrid active ankle foot orthosis” will be used to treat patients with drop foot condition.

• Second place, $5,000 prize: Regentiss LLC by Dr. Sarit Bhaduri, professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, and surgery. This business will develop advanced technologies for the treatment and regeneration of both hard and soft craniomaxillofacial tissues, including bone and cartilage.

• Third place, $2,500 prize: Three Sisters’ Bakery by UT student Jessica Reese. Their products will consist of naturally sweetened, no-sugar-added baked goods.

Honorable mention awards, with $500 prizes, were presented to the nine finalists:

• Dynamic and Smart Systems Laboratory by UT student Cory Chapman. The purpose of this device is to improve upon spinal fusion procedures by making them less invasive and decreasing the patient recovery time.

• HbA1c Monitor by UT student Rui Zheng. This would be the first fiber-optics-based commercial HbA1c sensor. It is an optical biosensor for accurate real-time monitoring of blood glycated proteins for clinical and home use by people with diabetes for glycemic control.

• Saltron Medical by UT student Amanda Szalkowski. This product is a hand-held device that will measure the dilation of the female cervix in order to monitor the progression of labor accurately and comfortably.

• Elarya Pharmaceuticals LLC by Dr. Jerzy Jankun, professor of urology. This product is a haemostatic agent designed to tame bleeding as a clot-protecting agent or target angiogenisis in cancer.

• Solar Engineering Solution by UT student Ningyuan Li. The company will deliver new technologies that serve the heating and cooling needs of buildings. These technologies are based on new solar innovations.

• Conservation Consulting by Dr. Daniel Kory, associate vice president for technology transfer. The company provides energy-consulting services to intermediate-sized users on how to reduce their energy costs.

• Resonance Group by UT student Jason Owens. This product is an energy control system that integrates the new RG controller with state-of-the-art pulse motors and power management technologies for improved performance of electric motor-driven products.

• Team ShrivIt by UT student Brett Chany. This is an Internet-based review site allowing the showing of one’s experiences with others by creating and posting short videos and blogs of people’s experiences and feelings about a place, product, service or event.

• WhatsUpDirectory.com by UT student Josh Weinstein. This is a national events directory to provide users with a geographically filtered and categorized view of events.