Illinois Tech Team Advances to Phase 2 of the Nano Startup Challenge in Cancer (NSC2)

An interdisciplinary student team from Illinois Institute of Technology was one of 21 Semifinalists of the Nano Startup Challenge in Cancer (NSC2), an open innovation competition designed to bring promising medical inventions to market. This open innovation startup is designed to bring near-term, commercially viable cancer nanotechnology inventions to market. NSC2 teams will compete to commercialize seven inventions that were conceived and developed at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The winning teams will be selected based on their business plans, financial models and live pitches and will move forward to final phase of the challenge to launch new businesses to commercialize eight NIH-conceived and developed inventions. These inventions include therapeutics, diagnostics, prognostics and medical devices designed to improve ways to cure cancer.

More than 278 students and entrepreneurs in 28 teams competed in the challenge that was launched in October 2015. Teams competed in two phases during which they were mentored by experts to produce business plans and Elevator Pitch. In the third phase, the teams will be creating Business Plan and Live Pitch after which in the final phase they will be mentored to launch their startups, incorporate their business, apply for licensing and execute development and regulatory requirements.

The Illinois Tech team is working on a neuroscience therapeutic platform technology designed to treat cancer. Illinois Tech team members include MBA students Rahul Ainapur, Egzon Berisha; Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. students Yusheng He, Michael (Wenqiang) Liu, Daniel Young; and Biomedical Engineering Masters students Aakanksha Rangnekar, Shreya Chitnis, Nilanjan Mukherjee.

Raja Krishnan, a technology commercialization consultant, is advising the Illinois Tech team.

Watch the Elevator Pitch video here.