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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.

 

 

Events
Feb. 5, 6:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy's Curtis Vaughan Observatory will offer free stargazing for the public beginning on top of the 4th floor of the Flawn Science Building. Experienced astronomers will be on hand to show a variety of astronomical objects and answer any questions. This event is free and open to the public, so feel free to invite friends and family.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory

Feb. 6, All Day

10th annual San Antonio Writing Project Teachers' Conference

This year's keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller, author of The Book Whisper. The event will feature breakout sessions and a presentation by the Creative Writers from North East School of the Arts. The event is free and open to all teachers from Pre-K through university level. Attendees can earn a certificate for 3 hours of Professional Development Credit.
Riklin Auditorium (FS1.406), Downtown Campus

Feb. 9, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. & 6 - 9 p.m.

Rowdy Gras 2016

The UTSA community is invited to attend the 3rd annual Rowdy Gras celebration! This year Rowdy Gras includes a daytime event from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. with a free food tasting and music on the UC Paseo. The main event takes place from 6 - 9 p.m. in the UC Lawn. The event includes free food, live jazz music, activities and giveaways.
University Center Paseo & Lawn, UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 10, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning 2015-16 Speaker Series

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series continues with Dana Cuff, Ph.D., a professor of architecture and urbanism at the University of California, Los Angeles. In her talk, Cuff will discuss new forms of “studio” and new types of practices. Free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328), UTSA Downtown Campus

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

29th annual Asian Festival - Year of the Monkey

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures invites Texas and Texans to the Asian Festival. What began as a traditional family reunion for the Chinese New Year has expanded to include other Asian communities and participants, showcasing their unique culture and traditions.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Feb. 13, 1 p.m.

2016 Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium

Join the UTSA Department of Interdisciplinary Learning and Teaching in celebrating interdisciplinary inquiry at the 2016  Interdisciplinary Studies Colloquium.  The colloquium will include a panel of faculty and recent doctoral graduate and a showcase of the best IDS undergraduate inquiry projects of the year 2015. The event is free and open to the public.
Business Building (BB 2.06.04), UTSA Main Campus

Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m.

African-American Social Welfare Pioneers Responding to Community Needs

The UTSA College of Public Policy presents the Dean's Distinguished Lecture Series featuring Dr. Iris Carlton-LaNey, Professor of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Dr. Iris Carlton LaNey will speak to the UTSA community about the role and impact of African-Americans in the social work profession.
Buena Vista Theater (BV 1.326), Downtown Campus

Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Presentation and Book Signing with Luis Carlos Montalvan

Please join us for a presentation and book signing by Luis Carlos Montalván (Fmr. Capt., USA), author of the New York Times Bestseller Until Tuesday and the international award-winning childrens book Tuesday Tucks Me In. His books will be available for purchase at the UTSA Bookstore. This event is free and open to the public.
Southwest Room (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Feb. 25, 6 p.m.

12th Annual Black Heritage Gala

The 12th Annual Black Heritage Gala is a formal event which includes a student performance, keynote remarks by Michael Brown, an award presentation, dinner and dancing. Tickets are $10 for UTSA students and $15 for all other guests. Tickets are on sale now at Roadrunner Express. Contact (210) 458-4770 for more information.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Feb. 27, 9 a.m.

Cultural Contrasts in Latin America

The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures will host a free workshop focusing on teaching Latin American culture and geography for students seeking their teacher certification. The workshop includes free resources for teaching Latin American subject matter as well as presentations on language, identity, music, geography, and political and developmental history, and a special educators’ tour of the museum’s Los Tejanos exhibit. Free with registration.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC 3.01.02)


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