Now in its second year, the Suren G. Dutia and Jas K. Grewal Global Impact Award is given to Washington University in St. Louis-based entrepreneurs who use technology to solve real-world problems.
A total of 19 teams entered this year’s competition, and the winner of the $50,000 prize is Applied Particle Technology (APT).
A group of distinguished judges heard presentations Nov. 2 from six finalists for the award, established in 2013 by Dutia (BS ’63, AB, MS ’67) and Grewal. The 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. Dutia serves on the university’s Entrepreneurship National Council, and both Dutia and Grewal are co-chairs of the San Diego Campaign Committee.
Pratim Biswas, PhD, the Lucy and Stanley Lopata Professor and chair of the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, along with doctoral students Jiaxi Fang and Tandeep Chadha, founded APT in 2014.
The rest of this year’s finalists included:
• Pro-Arc Diagnostics: offering an assay to minimize the risk of a fatal neurological disorder in immunocompromised patients.
• MechoGraph: new software using a patented, clinically tested model to help doctors quickly and noninvasively diagnose heart dysfunction.
• MDhandoff: streamlines transfers of patient care between health-care settings by consolidating disorganized health-care information into electronic, clinically useful formats.
• Geneoscopy: developing a screening methodology to noninvasively diagnose colorectal cancer using human mRNA biomarkers in stool samples.
• PASSIO: creates innovative educational videos to train surgeons.
“Our goal is to seek and encourage budding entrepreneurs and assist them through education, access to mentors and capital in a nurturing environment, allowing them to grow and scale their ventures,” Dutia said while announcing the award. “We hope that we have helped to provide our teams with all of these while contributing to build a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and in their communities.”
“We have mentored and trained all 19 teams who entered the competition this year, and they have produced top-quality plans,” said Emre Toker, managing director of the university’s Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “We know the judges had a difficult decision and thank them and all the teams for their participation. We look forward to continued progress updates as our teams move forward with their ventures.”
The judging panel included:
• Scott Bernstein, vice president, Lewis and Clark Ventures
• David Karandish (BS ’05), chief executive officer at Answers Corp.
• Phil Needleman, former senior executive vice president and chief scientist of Pharmacia
• David Smoller, CEO at SAGE Labs
• Tim Sturr, managing director of planning, innovation and strategy, Wells Fargo Advisors
Open to Washington University students, postdoctoral researchers and alumni who graduated within the last five years, the 2016 application process will open to new entries in the spring. More information is available on the Skandalaris Center website.