Two UW Bioengineering student-led teams won over $15,000 at the 2016 UW Business Plan Competition. The competition, which concluded May 26, provides entrepreneurial interdisciplinary student teams the opportunity to transform their ideas into compelling and viable startups. In its 19-year history, over 4,400 students have submitted 1,371 business plans to the Business Plan Competition, and $1.3 million in start-up funding has been awarded.

This year’s teams from BioE, MultiModal Health and Z-ion+ Technologies, won three of the 15 prizes in the competition, including Third Place, Big Picture and Best Health/Healthcare Idea prizes.

MultiModal Health logoMultiModal Health: $7,520.16 Third Place Prize and $5,000 Big Picture/AARP Foundation Prize

Brian Mogen, Lars Crawford, Tyler Libey, Dimitrios Gklezakos (UW Bioengineering, Neurobiology and Computer Science and Engineering)

MultiModal Health aims to develop connected platforms using affordable sensing and analytic technology to understand and improve health for everyone. MultiModal Health began with vHAB, a technology UW BioE Ph.D. students Brian Mogen and Tyler Libey began working on in January of 2014. The vHAB team competed in the 2014 and 2015 UW Business Plan Competitions, and in the 2016 Health Innovation Challenge.

vHAB is a virtual exercise platform that engages patients during hand and arm rehabilitation in video games based upon traditional physical and occupational therapy exercises. The platform enables clinicians to deliver customized treatment plans to patients and monitor progress, anytime and anywhere.

With MultiModal Health, the team aims to market vHAB via a family of products for home, clinical and research use. In clinical settings, vHAB Suite utilizes sensors to accurately measure hand motion and muscle activity via a three minute guided module, and is designed to enhance assessment and documentation of patient progress. These tools could potentially save therapists’ time, improve treatment outcomes and reduce the risk of insurance non-payment to providers. The vHAB product line also offers a novel way to collect and analyze subject data for research applications such as clinical drug trials and recovery outcome studies.

Z-ion+ logoZ-ion+ Technologies: $2,500 Cambia Health Solutions Best Health/Healthcare Idea Prize

Marvin Mecwan, Ruying Chen, Sabrina Kamran, Marleny Santos (UW Bioengineering, Pharmacology, Foster School of Business)

Z-ion+ Technologies utilizes patent-pending technology to make non-stick, long-lasting and durable coatings that can be applied to vascular devices to prevent complications due to blood clots. Earlier this year, UW BioE Ph.D. students Marvin Mecwan and Ruying Chen led the the Z-ion+ Technologies team to win the Foster School’s Science and Technology Showcase Grand Prize.

The team initially plans to target the market for vascular grafts, commonly used in patients with end stage renal disease. Vascular grafts connect an artery to a vein to allow direct access to a patient’s bloodstream for dialysis treatment. These devices are notoriously vulnerable to clotting leading to reduced or blocked blood flow, resulting in a 50% failure rate in the first year following implantation and 75% by the second year.

The team aims to improve the long-term durability and reliability of grafts using quasi-zwitterionic polymers prepared by glow-discharge gas plasma treatment. The result is a coating that emulates materials that naturally occur in the body, resists clotting and infection, and reduces the risk of device failure to save lives and reduce the cost of health care.