Start-up companies

The Riley lab has an impressive history of hosting undergraduate founded start-up companies. Each of the following companies entered the UMass Innovation Competition.

2013
Sandy Roy (Robinson at that time). Currently at Azenta Life Sciences.
Bacteriotix. Placed 3rd in business plan development ($1K). Placed 1st in the Pitch competition ($30K).
Abstract. 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, undergraduate in SOM.

2014
Morgon Dennis. Currently Executive Director at Tufts Medical Center Community Care
Acne Free Naturally. Placed 3rd in the Minute pitch ($1K), and 1st in the Executive Summary and Elevator Pitch ($1K).
Abstract. One of the factors that play into acne pathogenesis is the presence of P. acnes, a bacteria, on the skin. Acne Free, Naturally utilizes proteins produced naturally by bacteria, known as bacteriocins, to combat this bacteria. Bacteriocins work in such a way that they do not promote antibiotic resistance, and so offer a bright future to acne patients, having the potential to serve as both a treatment for existing outbreaks, and to prevent outbreaks before they occur.

2019
Griffin Driscoll. Currently CEO Organicin Scientific
Organicin Scientific. Placed 3rd in the final competition ($7.5K).
Abstract. The venture aspires to combat the “slow-motion tsunami” of increasing microbial resistance to antibiotics. To that end, the team is developing revolutionary proteins that target the culprits while avoiding collateral damage to the local microbiome. Griffin O’Driscoll, Mathew Mitchell, Joshua Mallon, and Thomas White.

2020
Hailey Charest. Currently Life Science Analyst, Clearview Healthcare Partners
Bac-B-Gone. Placed 3rd in the minute pitch ($1K). Placed 1st in the final competition ($41).
Abstract. MRSA is an antibiotic resistant bacteria that kills thousands of people a year in hospitals across the USA. Our company, Bac-Be-Gone, creates products that immediately eliminate MRSA on contact. Our cleaning products save lives. Hadley Beauregard (junior, biochemistry and molecular biology and German and Scandinavian studies), Hailey Charest (senior, biochemistry and molecular biology) and Bryanna Lexus Freitas ‘20 (chemistry and psychology).

2021
Natalie Getsey. Currently a Senior at UMass
Next Cornea. Entered minute pitch, did not place
Abstract. Next Cornea is an artificial cornea embedded with a non-toxic antimicrobial that prevents infections that cause blindness, as a safer alternative to harmful, long-term antibiotic treatments.

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