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Meet the 35 Semi-Finalists for the Duke Start-Up Challenge

Team YS
2nd Mar 2010
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The Duke Start-Up Challenge is an entrepreneurship competition at Duke University that runs the course of the academic year, from November to April.

The competition includes an Elevator Pitch Competition in November, a full business plan submission in February, and a live finals event in April, with multiple teams winning cash and prizes throughout the competition for the best submissions. The prizes are awarded to overall best plan/presentation and best submission in each of several categories (e.g. High-Tech/Information Technology, Healthcare/Life Sciences, Consumer Products/Services, and Social Entrepreneurship).

Additionally, teams are provided with feedback along the way from judges to help with further development of the business concept into the next phase and beyond. Founded in Fall 1999 by an ambitious group of Duke students, the competition is now celebrating its 10th year of operation.

Duke Start-Up Challenge announced the 35 semi-finalists on February 24th, 2010

Energy & Environment Track

CarBone - Our innovative process recycles waste animal bone, converting it into porous carbon electrodes for use in oxygen batteries and modern electronics. Contact: Kenneth Gould at kenneth.gould@duke.edu


Ecoviator - Ecoviator provides online users the opportunity to search for, compare, and book Ecotoursim adventures. Contact: Laura Brodhead at laowbrodhead@hotmail.com


Green Wave Sciences - Green Wave Sciences seeks to develop solutions to crop pest problems through the use of electromagnetic radiation. Contact: MIchael Bell at mike.bell@duke.edu


Magic Meter - Magic Meter reports how many dollars your refrigerator, your TV, your heater eats up every day. Just plug your appliance into the wall and track its energy consumption straight from our website. Contact: Kelvin Gu at gu.kelvin@gmail.com


Phosify - Phosify is an energy service company (ESCO) dedicated to providing green lighting solutions for the commercial and industrial sectors. Contact: Anna Territo at act23@duke.edu

Healthcare & Life Sciences Track

- Howie's note - Edited 2/26/10. Rhexis and Optimal merged (they were working on same technology), and BioWires is in (they were next highest scored).


BioWires - Biowires has created innovative solutions to neurological monitoring Contact: Dave Chen at dave.chen@duke.edu


Eye Innovations - Medical device to treat Glaucoma Patients Contact: Roberto Alfaro at roberto.alfaro@duke.edu


PurAxis - PurAxis makes it possible to produce many drugs with high optical purity, potentially reducing side effects, increasing efficacy and providing patients a higher quality of life. Contact: Jiayuan Quan at jq7@duke.edu


Rhexis Biomedical - Rhexis Biomedical has developed a disposable surgical instrument that improves the accuracy and reproducibility of cataract surgery, the most commonly performed outpatient surgery in the US. Contact: Michael McGroddy at pmm12@duke.edu and Alaina Pleatman at arp14@duke.edu


ScanUp - ScanUp raises the standard of medical imaging. Contact: Esther Lee at esther.j.lee@duke.edu

IT & Media Track

25th Hour Media - 25th Hour Media connects online content providers to their customers through high-quality, human-narrated streaming audio delivered on internet-enabled mobile devices. Contact: Simon Li at simon.li@duke.edu


curvit - curvit fills the gap between online resumes and manually typed and formatted resumes by allowing the user to focus on the content, while curvit manages both online and hardcopy formatting. Contact: Drew Sadowski at drew.sadowski@fuqua.duke.edu


ShopitTV.com - ShopitTV.com is an online destination that allows TV viewers to discuss and purchase items they see on their favorite TV shows Contact: Jonathan Lee at jyl13@duke.edu


WristBrand Media - Don't be seen. Be remembered with WristBrand Media, the leading provider of branded wristband ("wristbrand") advertising for advertisers ranging from Fortune 500 companies to non-profit organizations. Contact: Alex Gorham at alexander.gorham@gmail.com


YouChronicle - YouChronicle is the key for preserving and sharing family oral histories. Contact: Thomas Thekkekandam at thekkeka@gmail.com

Products & Services Track

Colucci DANZA - Colucci DANZA will revolutionize the ballet pointe shoe market by offering shoes with superior value, safety, comfort Contact: Lina Colucci at colucci.lina@gmail.com


Intelligent Irrigation Solutions - Intelligent Irrigation Solutions is a green-tech start-up that uses in-ground soil moisture sensors and advanced forecasting models that enable irrigation to be more efficient, ultimately reducing water consumption for irrigation by 20-40%. Contact: Johann Klemmack at johann.klemmack@fuqua.duke.edu


Micropower - Imagine running a laptop for 24 hours without plugging into a wall. Micropower is developing an ethanol fueled microengine to increase portability for consumer electronics and government robots. Contact: William Gardner at wgg2@duke.edu


PreservaBowl - PreservaBowl: Keeping food fresher, longer Contact: Spencer Kuzmier at spencer.kuzmier@duke.edu


Wasabi - Restaurant quality Sushi. Casual dining prices. Wasabi will do for Sushi what Subway did for the sandwich. Contact: Shaan Puri at svp5@duke.edu

Social Enterprise Track

CertiRx - CertiRx Corporation, an AuthentiForm Technologies, LLC company, (CertiRx) develops products that reduce the growing global risk of injury or death from counterfeit drugs by which the people of developing nations are affected disproportionately. Contact: Hersh Tapadia at hersh.tapadia@gmail.com

eVote - eVote is a website which connects voters with candidates, building trust and increasing direct funding for campaigns. Contact: Christopher Abkarians at c.abkarians@duke.edu

Nutty Tutoring - Nutty Tutoring is a non-profit online-software provider that connects tutoring organizations and students to bridge the gap between quality tutoring and accessibility. Contact: Dovina Qu at dovinaqu@gmail.com

PROSPERA - PROSPERA is a social venture that develops microenterprises through cost-effective supplies, marketing and distribution. Contact: Gabriela Enrigue at gabriela.enrigue@gmail.com

The Progress & Purity Project - The Progress & Purity Project aims to improve quality of life in northern Afghanistan by empowering women to start businesses, help fellow Afghans through microfinance and handicraft fair trade, and decrease disease through chlorine purification. Contact: Stephanie Fruth at stephanie.fruth@gmail.com

Undergraduate-led Startups Track

Optimal Surgical - A new device for cataract surgery that simplifies the procedure. Contact: Alaina Pleatman at arp14@duke.edu

PreservaBowl - PreservaBowl: Keeping food fresher, longer. Contact: Spencer Kuzmier at spencer.kuzmier@duke.edu

ScanUp - ScanUp raises the standard of medical imaging. Contact: ScanUp Team at esther.j.lee@duke.edu

SyncBlink - SyncBlink develops implantable neuromuscular stimulation devices to treat facial nerve palsy. Contact: Benjamin Hamner at benjamin.hamner@gmail.com

Wasabi - Restaurant quality Sushi. Casual dining prices. Wasabi will do for Sushi what Subway did for the sandwich. Contact: Shaan Puri at svp5@duke.edu

Women-led Startups Track

Colucci DANZA - Colucci DANZA will revolutionize the ballet pointe shoe market by offering shoes with superior value, safety, comfort Contact: Lina Colucci at colucci.lina@gmail.com

Heliotrope Productions (nom-de-plume) - Heliotrope Productions will take fair trade mainstream by making clothes that everyone - not just hippies - will love to wear.  Contact: Anita Sundari Akella at anita.akella@duke.edu

ImmunoDispense Pro - The ImmunoDispense Pro is an in-home device which safely and accurately dispenses powders for oral immunotherapy to treat food allergies. Contact: Jamie Wilkie at jfw8@duke.edu

Kosh - Universalizing access to Education content - Kosh is an online knowledge repository that will aggregate and create engaging educational content in all formats. This virtual library will make educational media accessible at a nominal price and in regional Indian languages, to rural India Contact: Aparna Prasad at ap131@duke.edu

PROSPERA - PROSPERA is a social venture that develops microenterprises through cost-effective supplies, marketing and distribution. Contact: Gabriela Enrigue at gabriela.enrigue@gmail.com

To find out more visit http://www.dukestartupchallenge.org/

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