Pitt Students With Big Ideas to Compete April 4 for Start-Up Funds With Medical, Energy Innovations

Issue Date: 
April 2, 2012

Student innovation and entrepreneurship will converge when Pitt’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) hosts the 2012 Randall Family Big Idea Competition, beginning at 6 p.m. April 4 in Ballroom B of the University Club. This is the fourth year of the Big Idea Competition, made possible through a leadership gift from the Bob and Rita Randall Family. The IEE is part of the University’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration.

Six student team finalists, emerging business visionaries competing for a total of $75,000, have been chosen from ideas submitted by 156 Pitt students. The first-place prize will be $30,000. Descriptions of the student team projects follow:

Drug Delivery Platform, a technology that allows for controlled release of protein therapeutics to specific tissues;

DVsphere, a revolutionary therapy to halt and potentially reverse certain types of diabetes;

SensorTech, carbon nanotube sensors that detect the presence of dangerous gases, like hydrogen sulfide, at a fraction of the price of electrochemical gas sensors;

SmartPace, a heart-imaging platform that assesses whether a patient will benefit from a pacemaker and, if beneficial, guides the surgeon during implantation;

TactSense Technology, a tactile feedback system for relaying the forces experienced by robotic surgical tools directly to a surgeon’s fingertips; and

UV-Pods, market-ready, single-use sunscreen capsules designed to ensure that the right amount of sunscreen is applied by the user.

Additionally, 13 runner-up teams will compete in a WILDCARD round, with a chance to win $1,000. The winner will be chosen by those who attend the 6:40 p.m. Randall Family Big Idea Competition showcase and vote for their favorite idea.