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Innovative Ideas Raise the Bar at UCSB New Venture Competition

Aptitude Medical Systems and Athlete Performance Data Systems take top honors

Aptitude Medical Systems and Athlete Performance Data Systems won awards at the UCSB New Venture Competition hosted by the Technology Management Program on Tuesday at the Corwin Pavilion.

More than 40 teams entered the field, attending bi-weekly mentoring sessions to meet with local businesses and legal and investment professionals to refine their ideas. The field was narrowed to 20 and later to the six teams seen Tuesday.

More than $75,000 in cash and awards were at stake with $7,500 going to Aptitude Medical Systems for the most fundable idea, $4,000 awarded to Athlete Performance Data Systems for the best pitch and $4,000 given to AMS for the best business plan.

“The first thing we said when looking back was, ‘By God, they are all good,’” said Bob York, director of the Technology Management Program. “We were beyond impressed with the quality of pitches, depth of thought and talent. There will be a lot of money made in the next few years.”

Aptitude Medical Systems is developing a more efficient means to diagnose patients. It strives to optimize the potential of aptamers, or molecules that combine to a specific target molecule, that would outperform antibodies at a fraction of the cost. AMS provides aptamers that both suit existing diagnostics and enable novel diagnostics that were never possible, such as implantable health monitors and personalized medicine.

The aptamers hold advantages over antibodies in sensitivity, target range, simplified and detection, and varied detection methods that all could potentially save lives, according to UCSB mechanical engineering senior Scott Ferguson.

“It would enable new diagnostics that would replace antibodies due to their efficiency and cost-effectiveness,” he said.

Athlete Performance Data Systems is a venture that allows athletic organizations to monitor, track and share athletes’ training, injuries and rehabilitation without using paper. The system would make physical paperwork obsolete by providing automated, real-time information.

“We want to solve a problem they have in efficiency and communication by offering it as a service to departments nationwide,” electrical engineering senior Greg Burek said. “Quite frankly, the systems in place are currently so terrible that universities are willing to talk.”

APDS would use private cloud computing to store automated data and improve communication. The main difference between its model and others such as is that it charges a fee per athlete rather than per user.

Another venture presented was Replica Therapies, which will provide medical institutions a substitute to human blood to improve accessibility, safety and efficiency. It would provide synthetic red blood cells that mimic the function of real RBCs. The product would alleviate the concerns with blood type matching, reduce the chance of disease transmission and drastically lengthen shelf life.

“Our product will be used when there is immediate dire need and can provide the time for a patient in an ambulance to make it to the hospital to receive proper treatment,” economics senior Gregory Goodwin said.

DermaTex strives to address chronic skin conditions caused by diabetes. Its first product, DiaTex, is a polymer-coated sock that maintains skin moisture while decreasing friction between fabric and the wearer’s foot to combat foot ulcers.

SyncIn is a time sheet solution marketed initially for the construction industry that will use a combination of location and voice identification for employees to clock in and out of work. Thousands of dollars are lost in payroll inefficiencies that can be largely traced to paper time sheets, and SyncIn strives to change that through mobile technology.

The last venture presented was WageCraft, a business that adds monetary incentive to traditional online gaming. It’s a Web-based community in which 20 million gamers compete in online computer games for money.

The judges for the competition were WaveFront Technologies founder and CEO Larry Barels, Intellectual Ventures Vice President Greg Kisor, Raytheon Co. CEO Daniel Burnham and informational technology expert Raman Khanna.

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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