ACTSI-supported TI:GER Team Wins 2015 Georgia Institute of Technology Startup Competition

The Technical Innovation: Generating Economic Results (TI:GER) program at Georgia Institute of Technology, addresses the problems that come with commercialization of technologies and their delivery of innovative products to the marketplace. TI:GER assembles five-member teams from Georgia Tech and Emory University, including two MBAs and two law students who focus on the commercialization of a PhD student’s research.

One TI:GER team, Team Bioletics – led by Georgia Tech graduate research assistant Yogi Patel and co-sponsored by the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute (ACTSI) – won first place in the 2015 Georgia Institute of Technology Startup Competition. The competition is designed to find the best startup business and highlight the high probability of tech startup failure due to execution prior to the production of a successful business model and customer base.

Patel’s technology is designed to electrically stimulate nerves and control glucose levels, so the obvious market would be diabetic patients. Team Bioletics found an alternative market strategy in diabetic pet owners after intense research, validation of customer audience, and interviewing. By replacing the traditional method of multiple pricks to extract blood to test glucose levels, pet owners could instead have a device implanted in their pets’ abdominal cavity that would be capable of sending change-of-condition alerts to a mobile app. This technology could help monitor the condition of cats and dogs with diabetes, and does not face the same FDA hurdles a human implantation product would. “The translational twist, shifting to the veterinary space, speeds development. In the future, we plan to win FDA approval to also use the device in humans,” said Patel.

Team Bioletics is comprised of Sarika Mathur and Mark Luo, law students from Emory, Maggie Lovatt and Hassan El Majidi, MBA students from Georgia Tech, and Patel, former Georgia Tech Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience scholar mentor. Patel’s advisor is Robert Butera, PhD, ACTSI mentor and Research Education, Training, & Career Development (RETCD) co-program director at Georgia Tech, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, jointly appointed in the Georgia Tech-Emory Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME), and co-director of the Neural Engineering Center (NEC) at Georgia Tech. 

Team Bioletics also represented Georgia Tech in Raleigh, NC’s Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Startup Madness last week (March 26-27) where they placed third (out of 16 teams).

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