Lapara Medical Inc., a team comprised of four engineering students and three business students who developed a prototype laparoscopic cooling device for kidney surgery and wrote a business plan to market the technology, triumphed this weekend at the $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition, presented by the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE).
UTSA competitors Jack Rabbit and Western Immersion Engineering respectively placed second and third in the business planning competition, held Saturday, December 1 at the UTSA Main Campus.
Lapara Medical offers a superior laparoscopic cooling system for life saving tumor removal surgery for kidneys and kidney transplants. The system cools the kidney to prevent damage to the organ while reducing the risk of postoperative failure, providing an elegantly simple way for surgeons to cool the organ and optimize surgical outcomes. Lapara Medical includes undergraduate business majors Shelbi Chrislip, Duncan Hughes and Warren Norket and undergraduate engineering majors Richard Canty, Adam Daufen, Luis Davila and Justin Ernest.
“Winning made all our hard work worthwhile,” said Warren Norket, a senior business management major and representative of the winning team. “We learned so much through our mentor, Mr. Rubén Zamorano, and all the key advisors he introduced us to, as well as Dr. Anita Leffel, who pushed us hard to do our very best. We all worked well together and everyone did their part.”
In all, six student teams competed this weekend at UTSA’s $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition. The other five competitors included:
- Gear Flux, which offers an automatic transmission that can be added to a gear bicycle in order to display distance, fat and calorie burn rate much like one sees on a stationary bicycle in the gym.
- Jack Rabbit, which offers a remote control car jack that allows one person to move an immobilized automobile from one end of a mechanic shop to another.
- Minesweep, which offers rescuers a way of finding trapped miners in the fastest and most efficient manner through a specialized location tracking system that focuses on people showing signs of distress.
- Western Immersion Engineering’s product is the RowdySim 240, a motion gaming chair that can be used with flight, race and roller coaster computer-simulated games.
- Wind Hawk, which offers a mechanism that will aid golfers in predicting distance and best angle to a hole by combining live weather (temperature and humidity) with wind speed and direction.
Held semi-annually, the $100,000 tech competition at UTSA offers the largest award of all undergraduate business planning competitions in the nation. Established in 2007, this competition offers UTSA’s undergraduate students the opportunity to build a technology, patent it, create a business and launch it in a rigorous incubator program.
During competition, local academic, business and entrepreneurial experts judge the teams on their technology, business plan and presentation.
“All of the teams designed professional, superb presentations and were approached by potential investors who were eager to learn more about their products,” said Anita Leffel, assistant director of CITE. “Based on this positive investor feedback, the teams are interested in moving ahead with commercialization and will be taking the next steps toward developing their businesses.”
Winners receive $100,000 in cash and business-related services including consulting, marketing and legal services, office space and other benefits.
UTSA’s $100,000 Student Technology Venture Competition is sponsored by the Texas Research & Technology Foundation, Cox | Smith, the Harvard Business School Club of San Antonio, Rackspace Hosting, the San Antonio Technology Center, Startech and the UTSA Colleges of Business and Engineering.
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