VT KnowledgeWorks has selected VoltMed as the 2012 Tech Transfer Challenge winner. The winning team is comprised of post-doctoral student Paulo Garcia of Cali, Colombia, and doctoral graduate students Chris Arena of Blacksburg, Va., and Mike Sano of Albany, N.Y., all studying biomedical engineering in the College of Engineering.

The prize provides $100,000 worth of mentorship and business support services to the winning team. Services will be spread out over two years including assistance in developing the overall business strategy as well as presentations and plan documents for investor discussions and product launch.

The VoltMed team is developing a device for use in treating soft tissue tumors using irreversible electroporation. It has been tested in veterinary applications, with the initial focus on the treatment of cancer in horses.

“The treatment technology evolved from our doctoral research,” said Garcia, VoltMed team member. “Each of us has a different area of expertise within biomedical engineering, allowing us to balance each other and improve the product.”

“Great things are invented that never make it to market,” said Jim Flowers, executive director of VT KnowledgeWorks. “With this prize and similar ventures, we hope to accelerate the transfer of the development of technology at Virginia Tech, off campus and into the market.”

VT KnowledgeWorks also selected two runner-up teams through the Tech Transfer Challenge. Each will receive assistance in business plan document development and other start-up documents.

The runner-up teams include

  • ACESS, submitted by Kara Johnson and Nate Mason, both MRI research technologists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. They are developing an Internet-based online multimedia behavioral testing service.
  • Focus Radio, submitted by Matt Flamini of Mullica Hill, N.J., a junior majoring in biological sciences in the College of Science and philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; Kevin Dickel of Thorofare, N.J., a sophomore majoring in art in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; Jake Overfield of Mechanicsville, Va., a graduate student studying electrical engineering in the College of Engineering; and Chris Mortweet of Ashburn, Va., a senior majoring in biochemistry in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, chemistry in the College of Science, and philosophy in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. The team is applying technology to enable real-time camera auto focus.

VT KnowledgeWorks encourages and enables creative entrepreneurship, through innovative curriculum, local business resource centers, and a global network of cooperating regions, all focused on three essential contributors to success: clear understanding of fundamental business principles; access to timely, relevant information; and meaningful personal and corporate relationships. It is a program of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center (a subsidiary of the Virginia Tech Foundation) and serves as a connection between the entrepreneur community and Virginia Tech. It is supported by the continuing confidence and enthusiasm of its clients, sponsors, and friends, both corporate and individual. Its world headquarters is in Blacksburg, Va.

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