2021 Schedule

Interest Meeting

January 19, 2021

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. CT

Kickoff Event: IP Parade

February 2, 2021

5:30 - 7 p.m. CT

Team Reveal: Finance Crash Course Seminar

February 9, 2021

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. CT

Customer Discovery Seminar

February 16, 2021

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. CT

Pitch Workshop 1

February 23, 2021

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. CT

Intellectual Property Seminar

March 2, 2021

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. CT

"How to Pitch" Seminar

March 9, 2021

5:30 - 6:30 p.m. CT

Pitch Workshop 2

March 16, 2021

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. CT

Final Pitch Competition

March 23, 2021

5:30 - 7:30 p.m. CT

available ips

NanoGold-DNA bioconjugates in retinopathis as diagnostics and therapeuticsNanoGold-DNA bioconjugates in retinopathis as diagnostics and therapeutics

(John Penn)

These non-toxic nanogold gene silencing agents can overcome the limitations of transfection and delivery of siRNA methods and could be used as imaging tool for the detection and depletion of faulty genes in vascular diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), diabetic retinopathy (DR). Gene silencing strategies for the treatment of ocular NV using siRNAs has been limited by low specific delivery to the target tissues and off-target effects. Our new gold nanoprobes can overcome these limitations.

PI 1

Polarized Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy for Intraoperative Nerve Visualization

(Justin Baba)

PI 2

A new device capable of label-free identification and visualization of peripheral nerves and/or other targeted tissue species of interest in the surgical field (e.g., nerve, muscle, tendon (connective), vascular, adipose tissues) using both diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) and polarization imaging (PI). DRS non-invasively detects changes in optical absorption and scattering within tissue that can be used to discriminate tissue types. PI provides another label-free and complementary means to optically identify nerves based on polarized light's sensitivity to the orderly structure of myelination sheath. Together these two optical modalities can provide high-fidelity, label-free, and non-contact identification and visualization of nerves within a surgical field. A wide range of surgical procedures require working in areas containing important nerve and neural structures. As a result, intraoperative nerve injury is a prevalent surgical risk and common source of medicolegal litigation. Currently, surgeons rely on their anatomical knowledge and naked-eye visualization of the surgical field to identify nerves. This can lead to nerve injury in up to 60% of some cases even with the aid of intraoperative nerve monitoring which is only intermittently applied.

Metabolic Rate Sensor

(Christina Marasco)

PI 3

The invention consists of a transdermal, non-invasive sensor system that provides a user with a continuous metabolic rate measurement. Typically, these measurements can only be obtained with the use of expensive equipment (i.e. environmental chambers, indirect calorimeters) housed in hospitals or athletic training facilities. Further, these recordings are only measured for a set period of time (i.e., minutes, hours, 24 hours), as opposed to a continuous monitoring setup.

Our device uses LED-based sensors that can detect SpO2 and CO2 levels through the skin, for instance, in the form of a wrist-worn device. These measures are transformed via caibration with gold standard indirect calorimetry to provide a measure of metabolic rate. From this measure, a more accurate estimate of daily energy expenditure can be produced compared to estimates based on height, weight, etc.

Bioresorbable RF coils

(Mark Does)

PI 4

These can be implanted in patients - intended to be used for nerve repair surgery to monitor the success/healing without having to go back in and take out the coils

HALO Technology: Heightened Airshield for the Limitation and Obstruction of airborne particulates 

(Charleson S. Bell)

PI 4

We envision implementing a coil-shaped airfoil to focus room air, collected by commercially- available, low-form factor fan turbines, to create a shield of an air which insulates patrons, or groups of patrons, seated in transportation vehicles, at the office, or at restaurant tables. The value this approach provides includes: 1) a barrier which decreases airborne transmission probabilities between patrons or groups, 2) an aesthetic barrier that enhances patron experiences as compared to consistent mask usage or plexiglass barriers, 3) a device that uses atmospheric air as an accumulator to increase air velocity maximizing particulate obstruction while controlling power needs, 4) a coil-shaped airfoil which decreases operation noise, 5) a simple installation process, as we anticipate a form factor and power requirement that do not exceed that of an industrial fan, and 6) the use of commercially-available fan components which keeps costs low. 


Advisory Board

Organizing Team

Chapter Head: Lorena Harvey, Ph.D. Candidate, Vanderbilt University


This event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring a future Scipreneur Challenge, please contact

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