A biotechnology company aiming to revolutionize early-stage cancer screening last night won the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge. Biological Dynamics, led by bioengineering PhD student and CEO Raj Krishnan and his fellow graduate students David Charlot and Roy Lefkowitz, took home the $40,000 first prize.
Biological Dynamics has developed a screening tool that identifies secondary cancer biomarkers such as free circulating DNA from unnatural cell death. Krishnan’s technology helps to detect signs of early stage tumors with a cost-effective blood test that takes less than 30 minutes and shows signs of almost every cancer type, according to the already much-awarded team.
Medical device company Tritonics, which has a solution to treat clogging in implanted catheters, came in second. Third prize was given to Radiofast, which is creating new integrated circuits technology for medical and security imaging.
In addition, the best entries in five categories got $2,000 each. They were Biological Dynamics (Biotech/Life Sciences), Radiofast (Hi-Tech/IT), Profile UST (CleanTech), The Nicholas Conor Institute (Social Entrepreneurship), and Cyrotrace Solutions (Undergraduate).
The UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge is a student-run competition now in its third year. Each of the 70 competing teams had to have at least one active company team member who is a UCSD or affiliate student or recent graduate.
Last fall, teams had to present their business concept, and during the winter quarter they went head-to-head in an executive summary competition. The spring quarter culminated Monday night with business plan presentations.
Judges for the final round included Mary Ann Beyster, president of the Foundation for Enterprise Development; biotech entrepreneur, venture investor, and Xconomist Larry Bock; SDSU College of Business dean Gail Naughton; Connect CEO Duane Roth; Mission Ventures managing partner Leo Spiegel; and UCSD’s Rady School of Management’s founding dean Robert Sullivan.
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