April 26, 2014

NanoCollege student team wins $100,000 prize

By: Brian Nearing

Source: Times Union

Eye tissue creation credited in NYS Business Plan competition

A student team from the SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering has won the top $100,000 prize at the New York State Business Plan Competition.

CNSE students Karen Torrejon, Rajan Kumar, Feryan Ahmed and Colby Creedon garnered the award for their novel technology to create realistic eye tissue used for drug screening to help prevent and treat glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.

Under the team name Glauconix, the group competed against more than 560 students on 92 teams — representing 36 colleges and universities — at the annual event held Friday at CNSE. It was sponsored by the State University of New York and State Employees Federal Credit Union (SEFCU). A panel of national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers, and seasoned entrepreneurs chose the winning teams.

Pradeep Haldar, a vice president at CSNE, said the competition has become one of the largest student business competitions in the country, growing from a dozen teams competing for $30,000 in prizes in 2010 to 500 teams and more than a half-million dollars in prizes this year.

Teams represented students from Bard College, Binghamton University, Clarkson University, Clinton Community College, Columbia University, Cornell University, Culinary Institute of America, Farmingdale State College, Genesee Community College, Hamilton College, Ithaca College, Jefferson Community College, Long Island University, Marist College, New York Institute of Technology, New York University, Niagara University, Queensborough Community College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Skidmore College, St. Bonaventure University, St. John Fisher College, Stony Brook University, SUNY Broome, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, SUNY Delhi, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Orange, SUNYIT, Syracuse University, University at Albany, University at Buffalo, University of Rochester, and Utica College.

Five teams each won $10,000 for first place in specific categories, including Glauconix for biotechnology/healthcare; Goodlight LLC from CNSE for energy/sustainability; Kettleshell from Ithaca College for products/services; Resumazing from RPI for information technology/software; Adept Advancements from RPI for nanotechnology/advanced technology; and Imajine Soap from Rochester Institute of Technology for social/non-profit.