Two UNLV teams were winners at last week's Donald W. Reynolds Nevada Governor's Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition, a statewide contest that encourages college and university students to use their ingenuity to create tomorrow's businesses.
Mov?oMedics took first place and $25,000 in the graduate category for SmartOrtho Detect, a shoe insole system that can diagnose early stage diabetic foot problems. The patent-pending insole is embedded with a wireless sensor to measure foot pressure when a patient walks. The sensor captures information physicians can use to diagnose foot problems that could lead to ulcerations and other issues.
The company is a collaboration of UNLV allied health sciences professor Janet Dufek, engineering associate dean Mohamed Trabia, and UNLV students John Landrith, Christine Nolan, James Lutz, Erin Schroeder, and Peter Puglisi.
"There are lots of costs involved in research and development, and bringing in grant funding is costly and time-consuming," said Landrith, team leader of Mov?oMedics. "This win will help a lot with the funding we need."
Mov?oMedics advances to the Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State competition May 27-28 in Las Vegas, where they will compete with teams from Oklahoma and Arkansas for cash awards totaling $118,000. The team's win comes on the heels of capturing the Dominic Anthony Marrocco Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition title and more than $90,000 in cash and prizes in March.
MilkBaby Bikini took third place and $10,000 for its custom swimsuit company, which has had designs featured in Sports Illustrated. Team members include UNLV students Paul Dimond, Catherine Thordarson, Huzaifa Mahesri, Robert Opacki, and Andrew Coates.
Both teams were advised by Angela Douglas, an entrepreneurship instructor in the UNLV Lee Business School's MBA program. Douglas was one of two people recognized as Faculty Advisor of the Year at the Governor's Cup awards program in Reno.
"The results of the competition reflect the quality of the entrepreneurship programs at UNLV," said Andrew Hardin, associate dean for research and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the Lee Business School."We are committed to assisting UNLV faculty, students and staff interested in commercializing their inventions."
The Governor's Cup is the only statewide collegiate business plan competition that encourages students from Nevada's colleges and universities to gain real-world experience by exploring entrepreneurship and developing business plans. Nearly 40 teams from 10 Nevada public and private colleges and universities competed this year.