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The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge!
More than 100 teams applied to the year-long program, which culminated in a finals competition on May 24. Winning teams received prizes in the form of cash, legal services, professional consulting, and office space in the ARCH Venture Partners New Business Incubator, housed within the Polsky Center.
This year’s winners, chosen from a group of 10 finalists, were awarded $75,000 in cash prizes and business services valued at more than $150,000:
MouseHouse (first place, $30,000) The team is developing an iPad and web platform that allows researchers in laboratories and institutions to collaborate on animal experiments, breeding, and health management.
ArborVita Associates (second place, $15,000) AVA is a biotechnology company that has developed a simpler, faster, and cheaper way to modify DNA using proprietary and patented enzyme called DRAP (Drosophila Recombination-Associated Protein).
BloomNation (third place, $10,000) BloomNation allows florists across the country to upload and sell their unique designs at their desired prices onto a single marketplace.
Three teams tied for fourth place and each received $4,000: Aquarius Biotechnologies, which uses a proprietary drug delivery technology called cochleate technology, that allows for oral delivery of drugs; GradMags, a cross media digital publishing platform service for higher education and non-profit organizations; and Site Diagnostics, a biotechnology company focused on veterinary diagnostic applications using a gel-drop biochip technology licensed from Argonne National Labs.
Other finalists include Drink Different, an alcoholic cider beverage for the Polish market; Output Medical, which seeks to provide a more accurate way of measuring key body fluids using a novel technological approach involving electric sensors; SH2, which provides innovative solutions in media advertising for points of sale marketing; and Zipfit, a virtual personal shopper for jeans. These teams each received $2,000 in seed funding.
- The winner of the People's Choice Award, sponsored by Built In Chicago was Athletify.Me. They received a $1,000 cash prize.
Congratulations to all of the teams who participated in the New Venture Challenge program. It was a truly outstanding year!