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BriteSeed Wins Top Awards at the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition

Two business teams founded in Northwestern University's NUvention entrepreneurship courses took first and second place at the Rice Business Plan Competition in April, walking away with more than $1 million combined in cash and investments. It is the second straight year that Northwestern teams have won the competition.

One of these teams, BriteSeed, a medical startup, introduced their product SafeSnips, technology that can be integrated into surgical tools to detect blood vessels during surgery and prevent unintended bleeding. The device came out of Northwestern’s NUvention: Medical Innovation course during the 2011-12 academic year.

SafeSnips was created by a team of four students representing three Northwestern schools: Mayank Vijayvergia, a graduate student in McCormick’s Department of Biomedical Engineering; Paul Fehrenbacher, a medical students at the Feinberg School of Medicine; Muneeb Bokhari, an alumnus of the Law School; and Jonathan Gunn, a current Law School student.

Other BriteSeed team members are Hariharan Subramanian, an alumnus of McCormick’s biomedical engineering program and a research professor in the lab of Lurie Cancer Center members Vadim Backman, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science and David Mahvi, James R. Hines Professor and Vice Chair of Surgery and Chief of Gastrointestinal and Oncologic Surgery at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

BriteSeed is being mentored by the Chicago Innovation Mentors program, a multi-institution initiative that cultivates university-based biomedical and healthcare commercialization by matching experienced entrepreneurs, executives, and domain experts with innovating faculty.

The competition is the world’s richest and largest graduate-level business plan competition. Forty-two teams from around the world competed in front of 300 judges for more than $1.5 million in prizes. The emerging companies from graduate schools around the world pitched their business ideas to venture capitalist and industry experts seeking startups in which to invest.

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(Last updated on April 24, 2013 )