Five Teams Advance to Duquesne New Venture Challenge Finals

The 2021-2022 Duquesne New Venture Challenge hosted by the Palumbo-Donahue School of Business has been narrowed down to five teams for the final stage of the business-plan competition. Now in its third year, it features compelling and innovative start-up ideas from aspiring entrepreneurs from the Pittsburgh region and beyond.

Each team will make their presentations Saturday, April 23. The finalists for the 2021-2022 Duquesne New Venture Challenge include:

  • Advanced Optronics
  • LLC CAT-7
  • DisSolves
  • SimBOX
  • InnovatiVe.  

"Once again, the Duquesne New Venture Challenge has produced a most impressive group of finalists who are offering solutions to important problems using creative and novel technologies," said Business Dean Dr. Dean McFarlin. "I am struck by the potential for wide impact that these solutions represent, and I am proud of the fact that some of the finalist teams include current Duquesne students."

Advanced Optronics, designs and manufactures implantable smart sensors to improve patient outcomes in a wide array of medical applications. Its first product is an integrated force and position sensor for cochlear implants, which provide real-time feedback during surgery to reduce surgical trauma and avoid damage to residual hearing during implantation.  

The Cerebral Aneurysm Test 7 (CAT-7) team is developing the first simple, whole-blood based diagnostic test to detect the formation of a cerebral aneurysm, which often go undiagnosed.  

DisSolves produces the first edible, water-soluble packaging made from all-natural ingredients in the $400 billion food-packaging market.  

SimBOX is a monthly subscription package of products and simulation scenarios targeted toward physicians who want simulation-based training and need continuing medical education (CME) credits to maintain their licensures.  

InnovatiVe designed a device to assist with peripheral intravenous catheter insertion and the challenge of short-term use of IVs. The device involves a skin-colored sleeve applied to the arm or wrist, paired with a secured, breathable dome that covers the IV site. The device also includes a proximity sensor to notify a member of the patient's care team if the site becomes compromised.  

The following monetary awards will be provided pending placement:

  • 1st place, $15,000
  • 2nd place, $8,000
  • 3rd place, $6,000
  • 4th place, $3,000
  • 5th place, $3,000.  

The top three finalists will receive additional prizes and support, including legal services via the Duquesne University School of Law, business consulting services from Duquesne's Small Business Development Center and meetings with School of Business faculty.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and horizon-expanding education. A campus of nearly 8,500 graduate and undergraduate students, Duquesne prepares students by having them work alongside faculty to discover and reach their goals. The University’s academic programs, community service, and commitment to equity and opportunity in the Pittsburgh region have earned national acclaim.

It's time for bigger goals
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