I’d like to take a minute and briefly talk about the Nanotechnology New Ventures Competition. While the winners have been announced, I will touch upon that later. The competition’s name may sound confusing, but the competition is actually relatively quite simple. The idea of the competition is to bring together both researchers of the nanotechnology field and local business leaders who know what it takes to make a small business become successful. The state of Indiana has become a hotbed for the nanotechnology industry and the I’m sure the hope of this competition is to foster that relationship in the attempt to boost the local economy.
Since the event is being sponsored by reputable leading universities, the winners received quite a bit of media attention along with a surprisingly large prize pool to the winning contestants. The event raised enough money to have a total pool worth $57,000. No small feat for any small competition. In order to enter the contest, one must be somehow related to the state of Indiana whether it be a resident at one time or an attending student at a public university. Once the contestants were cleared to enter, they were given the task of creating a small business plan along with the field of experts available to all the teams during the competition. There will also be many investors present looking for the chance to cash in for the latest innovative product or idea. There were a total of 5 finalists which all received a cash prize, but the majority of the prize pool was weighted to the eventual winners.
The winner of the contest went to a team (Citrics Biomedical) working on what they think is a viable bone substitute. The reasoning behind their victory is the many uses and applications of the product along with the lucrative earning potential. An attorney attending the event stated that “the development of the bone substitute product could have many potential uses which could lower medical costs for those injured in accidents”. If the product is developed and proven in the marketplace, it could mean millions to the creators of the nano-composite bone substitute. The 2nd place finisher was named to be LightSprite and this team included a pair of Notre Dame physics professors. Overall the event seemed like a real positive experience for both business leaders and nanotechnology researchers and developers.