Two teams win inaugural Global Impact Award

Nathan Brajer (right) and Evan Madill (center) discuss their venture, ViFlex LLC, during the inaugural Suren G. Dutia and Jas K. Grewal Global Imapact Award event. The ceremony, held Oct. 6 in the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center at Washington University in St. Louis, featured a poster-board session and elevator pitches. (Credit: Whitney Curtis/WUSTL Photos (2))

Nanopore Diagnostics LLC and ViFlex LLC are the inaugural winners of the Suren G. Dutia and Jas K. Grewal Global Impact Award from the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dutia (BS ’63, AB, MS ’67) and Grewal, husband and wife entrepreneurs and investors, established the award in the belief that the power of technology can solve real-world problems by giving highly motivated entrepreneurs the tools to foster innovation.

Tom Cohen explains his Nanopore Diagnostics project.

Nanopore, winner of a $40,000 prize, is developing a rapid and portable bacterial diagnostic test to take the guesswork out of prescribing antibiotics.

ViFlex, which took home a $10,000 prize, is developing a pair of low-cost, adjustable eyeglasses as part of a sustainable and scalable solution to reduce the burden of poor vision for the 700 million in the developing world who have untreated refractive error.

A panel of judges selected Nanopore and ViFlex from six finalists. For more information about Dutia, Grewal, the Global Impact Award and the finalists, visit here and here.