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April 27, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Second of three “Scipreneur Challenges” now in the books, third occurs this fall

The second of BioTN’s three “Scipreneur Challenges” was held in Memphis recently and won by a team from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the University of Memphis who pitched their mock product named “MetaSense.” It was described as a method for detecting circulating tumor cells and extracellular vesicles.

The annual competition grew out of a single effort at Vanderbilt University, with support from Life Science Tennessee, to enable graduate students, Ph.D. candidates, and post-doctoral researchers to learn entrepreneurship training related to STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and math) technologies.

That annual competition was subsequently renamed the “Scipreneur Challenge” of the BioTN Academic Alliance and expanded to Memphis several year ago. The Knoxville Chapter of the Academic Alliance offered its first “Scipreneur Challenge” in 2019 before COVID-19 shutdown many activities. The event returns this fall.

Earlier this month, a team of Vanderbilt University students pitched its mock product named “Nanogold DNA Bioconjugates,” an imaging tool for the detection and depletion of faulty genes in various vascular diseases – a feat driven by the technology’s non-toxic nanogold gene silencing agents.

The Memphis event was supported by LaunchTN, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Christian Brothers University, University of Memphis FedEx Institute of Technology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Epicenter, Innova, and UMRF Ventures Inc.



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