Five teams cash in on first round of Innovation Challenge

Article about Bacteriotix, a newly started company composed of members affiliated with Riley lab. Extracted from "UMass In the Loop."

The teams participated in a contest designed to inspire and reward the best entrepreneurial business plans from students, recent alumni and their faculty advisors. A second phase of the Innovation Challenge, featuring full business plans and investor presentations, is planned for April 28.

The winning teams and their awards were: 3D Therapeutics, $2,500; Aha! Productions, $1,000; Bacteriotix, $2,500; Flexolyte Power Solutions, $2,500, and Posytive Ltd., $1,500.

• 3D Therapeutics is a service-based business that will streamline the process of cancer drug development by improving the testing of drugs and enabling drug developers to overcome the critical problem of limited drug penetration into solid tumors. Its members are: Katrina Kratz, doctoral student in polymer science and engineering; Rosie Combs-Bachmann, doctoral student in neuroscience and behavior; Stacy Pease, MBA candidate, and Bhushan Toley, doctoral student in chemical engineering.

• Bacteriotix develops novel, narrow-spectrum antibacterials to fight specific pathogens while slowing the development of antibiotic resistance. Its members are: Sandra Robinson, alumna in microbiology; Christopher Roy, undergraduate in microbiology; Shanika Collins, graduate student in molecular and cell biology; Suphan Bakkal, graduate student in biology, and Jenna Farrell

• Flexolyte Power Solutions is using thin film technology to improve the safety and performance of lithium-ion batteries. Its members are: Jessica Wolff MBA candidate; Felicia Bokel, doctoral student in polymer science and engineering; Craig Versek, doctoral student in physics, and Monique Johnson, doctoral student in analytical chemistry.

• Posytive Ltd. is a supplier of electronic design automation software to automate optimizations, analysis and verification of integrated circuit designs. Its members are Daniel Gomez-Prado, doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering, and Alan Mishchenko, a UC Berkeley student.

• Aha! Productions is developing Innovation Assistant software that uses a unique knowledge representation scheme to help improve problem-solving skills and identify novel solutions. Its members are Anthony McCaffrey, doctoral student in cognitive psychology, and Brendan Jones, alumnus in chemical engineering.

The UMass Amherst Innovation Challenge is supported entirely with private donations from Eugene M. and Ronnie Isenberg and the following sponsors: Wolf Greenfield; Saint-Gobain; Joseph Bohan; Paul Carney '82; CISCO; Forge Partners; Raytheon; VISTAGY; Wayne Boulais '85, '88; Stephen Dunne '89; Michael Tunstall '82, and Karen Lauter Utgoff Consulting.

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