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Pharmaceutical sciences students named finalists in Innovation Challenge

FARGO, ND, March 23, 2018 – Six teams of pharmaceutical sciences students were selected to compete in the finals of Innovation Challenge, designed to encourage entrepreneurship. NDSU students presented their business ideas at the midway point through the Innovation Challenge in a showcase style format on March 21, 2018. They presented to judges privately throughout the day then at 5:00 PM when the event opened to the public.   

The judges in each track spent time with each team and faced a challenging decision in selecting the few teams that would be moving onto the final presentations on April 5th in the NDSU Memorial Union.

Pharmaceutical sciences students going on to the final round are noted in italics.

Product Finalists include:

  1. Babak Jahani, creating an antibacterial coating to reduce the spread of disease.
  2.  Raquib Hasan, Abbey Wohlers, and Meredith Schroeder (microbiological sciences) working on “Osteo-Fill,” a moldable putty-like substance that works to cure infections.
  3. Cody Weise and Ahsan Nazmul with “DAAM,” 3D printed helmets to help reshape infant skulls that may have been damaged during childbirth.
  4. “Exo-Therapeutics” by Jessica Pullan and Matthew Confeld with a highly focused cancer therapy, they have discovered a high-tech way to help the body specifically target only cancerous cells.
  5. Hanaa Mansour and Matthew Crouse, have created a 3D printed “flask holder” to increase efficiency in laboratories.
  6. Nick Broberg and Thomas Konetschka have developed “Nature’s Boost,” a high-performance energy gel for runners made from pure maple syrup.
  7. “Proximity Skin Tanning (PST)” by Austin Breuer, a safe skin tanning solution that promotes the skin cells to darken on their own.
  8. Sarah Whims and Aaron Kinslow developed “Roof Renew,” lightweight, durable, and renewable roof shingle.

Service Finalists include:

  1. “Ace2Stem” by Shrinidh Joshi, developing “designer” stem cells that assist in repairing the body when struck by disease.
  2. David Syverson created “Stackable Credentials,” a way to provide students with merits to demonstrate competence and skill.
  3. “Webblen” was developed by Nate Thoreson, an app that revolutionizes the way communities find events.
  4. “T-Prime Therapeutics,” another project of Matt Confeld’s alongside Abigail Zikmund, developing a genetically unique vaccine for cancers in family generations.
  5. Babak Mamnoon and Chad Rehovsky created “3D Biotumoroids,” a 3D printed chamber that helps to grow and monitor drug treatments of breast cancer.
  6. “PawPrint Prosthetics” brought in a 3-legged German Shepard to model their 3D printed prosthetics for pets.

Social Impact Finalists include:

  1. “Green Around the Gills” by Swati Sharma and Priyanka Deka, creating opportunities for sustainable rural growth through local business development.
  2. Another of Hanaa Mansour’s projects with DeMetris Reed, called “Rainbow Colors,” creating a more colorful community to reduce seasonal depression.
  3. “PlusOne” by Ted Zipoy, Ian Gilley, and Michael and Timothy Straus, empowering students to donate extra dining center meals to those in need.
  4. “Breathe Smarter” by Shrindh Joshi, another student with multiple projects, and Divya Sharma, a way of improving patient outcomes and increased efficiency through cloud-based data platform for asthma patients.
  5. Jesse Riley, Nikki Ellingson, Elsie McGuigan, and Mackenzie Alexander created “Songbird Creations,” a way to help schools fundraise and increase interest in STEM fields while reconnecting students to nature, away from their screens.
  6. Sarah Biesterveld designed the “Modular Accessibility Installation,” which creates affordable access to buildings for those who are unable to use standard accesses, through a modular design.

Final presentations are scheduled for Thursday, April 5, and the competition culminates at an awards ceremony Tuesday, April 17, when the winners are announced and will receive cash prizes.

The Innovation Challenge program is sponsored by the NDSU Research and Technology Park and the Office of the Provost.

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