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Engineering and Carle Illinois College of Medicine students won startup money in the Cozad New Venture Challenge

A young white woman with long blonde hair is holding two large ceremonial checks.

Last month, student innovators presented their startup company pitches to an array of judges, including faculty, mentors, past Cozad winners, and sponsors in the Cozad New Venture Challenge. Ninety teams participated in this demo showcase on April 13th, then just seven teams made it to the finals on April 19th.

Bioengineering student Cara Bognar won a total of $45,000 in investment for her startup Top Tier Lessons, which has U of I student athletes providing private sports lessons for kids.

A group of bioengineering students took second place, and $35,000, for Sakura MedTech. It’s a “a medical device company working to increase accessibility and comfort in gynecology by developing an imaging device for cervical cancer screening to reduce patient discomfort and improve medical efficiency for gynecologists.”

Two teams tied for third place: A team of bioengineering and computer science students earned $20,000 for Integrated Dynamics, where they are “building hybrid bioreactors to turn organic waste into hydrogen gas.” A team from Carle Illinois College of Medicine also earned $20,000 for Beacon, which is “developing new treatment that uses light therapy to lengthen the lives of patients who have undergone surgery to remove an aggressive form of brain cancer.” The latter also won the Healthcare Innovation Track, and an additional $25,000.

You can read more about the challenge and the winners at the Technology Entrepreneur Center website.

Managing Editor

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