Sunday, October 04, 2015


Prototype sleep apnea device wins UTSA entrepreneurship competition

winning team

Winning team Mediflow

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(May 6, 2014) -- Mediflow, a team comprised of seven undergraduates, triumphed at the $100K Student Technology Venture Competition presented by the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE). The UTSA students developed a prototype sleep apnea device and wrote a business plan to market the technology.

UTSA competitors Velox Medical and Vitalassure respectively placed second and third in the business planning competition at the UTSA Main Campus.

It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a disease that prevents a person from getting solid sleep. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, chronic heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, traffic accidents and other sleep-deprivation related accidents.

The Mediflow team developed a commercially viable business plan for a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device that is smaller, more mobile, and aims to be more comfortable than other CPAP devices currently on the market. It integrates the blower into the facial mask itself and the power supply attaches to the body, which eliminates the need for a hose and anchored power supply.

Mediflow includes undergraduate engineering majors Joseph Barrios, Eluid Gutierrez, Aaron Mosqueda and Maxim Perkins and undergraduate business majors Nancy Perdicho, Spencer Reynolds and Kaleigh Simms. The Mediflow team won $2,000 cash and several in-kind business resources.

"It feels amazing to win, and it's great to see our hard work pay off," said Spencer Reynolds, senior business management student. "Everyone put in a lot of hours. We're really excited about this product and are hopeful for its future."

"Mentoring this group was a fantastic experience," said San Antonio medical device consultant Mark Standeford, who served as Mediflow's business mentor for the competition. "They identified a good opportunity, structured a good business plan around that opportunity, and even if they hadn't won first place, they would have a winning commercial product."

Second-place winner Velox Medical developed a device that aids in endovascular surgery and recovery for a patient who has had a brain aneurysm. The team includes engineering majors Andrew Casterlin, Ivana Escobar, Derek Kohlenberg and Noel Manuel, business majors Jon Ambach and James Whetstone, and mentor Neal Vail. The Velox Medical team won $1,000 cash and several in-kind business resources.

Third-place winner Vitalassure developed a wireless device that monitors the flow of IV fluid to a patient. The team includes engineering major Jacob Kantor, business majors Luis Gonzalez and Greg Bishop, and mentor Ian Clements. The Vitalassure team won $500 cash and several in-kind business resources.

During the competition, local academic, business and entrepreneurial experts judged the teams on their technology, business plan and presentation.

This year's judges included Patrick R. Condon and Dirk Elmendorf, co-founders of Rackspace; Gary Frashier, president of Management Associates; Randall Goldsmith, investor in residence for the Texas Technology Development Center; Lorenzo Gomez III, executive director of the 80/20 Foundation; Teryn Grater of ATKG CPAs LLP; George E. Karutz Sr. of Karutz Capital and Texas Research & Technology Foundation; Norman L. Jacobson, owner of iMageDent Management and Development Services; and Peter Savas, CEO of StemBioSys Inc.

The other teams included:

  • ATI (Applied Technological Innovations), which developed the Simple Proactive Emergency Extraction Device (SPEED), an emergency backboard capable of adjusting to the shape of a person as found in a damaged vehicle so they can remain in that position on the way to the hospital.
  • BoardBaby, which designed a website that serves as an online corkboard for parents to keep the special moments of their children in one secure, convenient place.
  • da Vinci Technologies, which developed the Heat Tap, a patentable technology that simultaneously reduces air-conditioning and clothes dryer power consumption in homes in order to reduce both energy consumption and the energy bill.
  • ELIXIR, which designed a lumbar therapy belt that provides hot, cold and alternating therapy, coupled with a bladder that inflates within a back brace to increase pressure for therapeutic and heat transfer.
  • Phenom Fitness, which developed a sparring glove that incorporates a resistance band shock absorber that also serves as an exercise workout band.
  • Genie Innovation, which designed the ET Clean, a device that keeps the airway path clear of mucus that typically restricts oxygen flow to a patient after a tracheal intubation.
  • PalmKEG, which designed a device that, when paired with a vacuum-insulated growler, retains ideal pressure and temperature for transporting and dispensing beer.

"UTSA has established itself as San Antonio's university pipeline for young tech entrepreneurs," said Cory Hallam, UTSA chief commercialization officer and CITE director. "This competition highlights the skills these students have honed during their undergraduate degrees, under the watchful eye and guidance of great faculty like Professors Allo, Johnson, Leffel and Simonis. Their successes will enable us to continue to grow tech entrepreneurship at UTSA for years to come."

Established in 2007 and held semi-annually, the $100K Student Technology Venture Competition offers UTSA's undergraduate senior business and engineering students the opportunity to build a technology, patent it, create a business and launch it in a rigorous incubator program. The top three teams have access to a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding and in-kind services to launch their new companies.

The founding sponsor of the competition is the Texas Research Technology Foundation (TRTF). New and continuing sponsors include Cox|Smith, Rackspace and the San Antonio Technology Center, and is supported by the following UTSA entities: College of Business, College of Engineering and Office of the Vice President for Research.

For more information, visit the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship website.



Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus

Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Where Ink Does Not Show: A Celebration of the New State Poet Laureate

A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

Campus Carry Listening Session

Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

State of the University

Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

Graduate Fair

Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

Oct. 9, 8 a.m.

College of Sciences Research Conference

The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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