MSTC Students ClearBrook Imaging Win Carnegie Mellon, Oregon Venture Competitions
Two Master of Science in Technology Commericialization (MSTC) students were part of a team that won the Life Sciences track of the 2011 McGinnis Venture Competition at the Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business March 10-12. The win comes with $20,000 as a convertible note and $20,000 in in-kind legal services.
The team also won the New Venture Championship competition hosted by the University of Oregon's Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship April 9. The victory earned them $25,000.
MSTC students Ryan Miller and David Mortellaro, along with biomedical engineering Ph.D. candidates Jimmy Su and Bo Wang and research associate Andrew Karpiouk formed their company, ClearBrook Imaging to commercialize photoacoustic imaging (IVPA), a technology that allows better visualization of plaque formation (fat and other substances) that accumulate in the lining of the artery wall and captures images of implanted metal stents (tubes inserted into blood vessels to provide support and prevent disease-induced closure).
Miller and Mortellaro continued market research during their second MSTC semester and developed a business plan around the technology. When it was clear they had a game-changing technology, ClearBrook Imaging was formed.
One of the challenges the team has faced is making the transition from academic research to real-world applications.
“Understanding the needs of the market and directing the development of a future product is a different challenge than open-ended discovery of technology in an academic setting,” says Mortellaro. The team worked with the university’s Office of Technology Commercialization, a partnership they credit with helping them reach the finals.
MSTC student team StableEyes--Michelle Reese, Eric Richison and Alex Couchonnal--won the elevator pitch division of the competition.