Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 28, 2014 — MIT-CHIEF is the largest China-focused event in the 150+ years of MIT’s history. The MIT-CHIEF “Pitch to China” Business Plan Contest brings together hundreds of teams representing renowned institutions across the United States and China. This year, there were 200+ applicants from around the world. 52 teams reached the semi-finals across 5 different tracks. The 6 Finalists were selected by a panel of 50 experienced judges from the US and China. Despite fierce competition from other contestants including MIT and Harvard,Devon Grimmé (Director, Business Development) and Dr. Stephen Hsu (CEO/CSO) led Prometheon to the Grand Prize (1st Place) in an exciting Finale.
Mr. Xu Xiaoping presents a $10,000 check to Prometheon Pharma team (from Weibo).
This year, more than 200 ideas were submitted from 18 different countries, and among these 200 ideas, 52 of them were selected as the semi-finalists. On Saturday, November 15, 2014, six finalist teams, representing 200 teams globally, gathered here at MIT to compete in front of a stellar panel of 14 judges and over 700 audiences. They are: (1) Belleds Technologies, (2) GreenPoints, (3) Prometheon Pharma, LLC, (4) RapidSOS, (5) Sintact Medical Systems, LLC, and (6) WeeeApp. Each of them took home a piece of the $20,000 pot, with $10,000 for first-place winner, $3,000 for two second-place winners, and $1,500 for three third-place winners.
Team: Prometheon Pharma, LLC
University: University of Florida
Introduction: Imagine a world where needle injection is replaced with once weekly patches that are heat-resistant and biodegradable. Perishable drugs no longer spoil in transit. Our planet is free of medical waste. Prometheon Pharma is dedicated to advancing health equity and access to therapies for diverse populations using its platform technology for transdermal delivery of peptide/protein drugs. Applying a lean approach, we identify areas of commercial and strategic interest amenable to streamlined regulatory paths and shortened time to market across broad therapeutic landscapes. Quite simply, Prometheon is passionate about improving lives quickly and inexpensively by maximizing convenience and ensuring therapeutic benefit.
University: Harvard University
Introduction: RapidSOS is an advanced emergency communication and management Company. Outdated infrastructure causes millions of emergency calls to fail each year, leading to injury and death. RapidSOS improves upon the conventional phone call (still routed via copper wires) to deliver the only means to instantly summon help from first responders. RapidSOS’ emergency communication platform allows citizens to instantly reach dispatchers in emergencies, enables emergency managers to alert people directly in harm’s way, and leverages data from the network to predict and preempt emergencies. RapidSOS was named Most Innovative Company in Harvard’s Innovation Challenge, Best Mobile Technology at MIT’s $100k Competition, and a Top-10 University Start-up Globally by Founder.org. Formed in 2012, the Company is led by a team from MIT, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Google, Amazon, eBay, and Oakridge&Argonne National Labs who have experienced firsthand 911’s failures and are personally motivated to solve this enormous challenge.
Team: Sintact Medical Systems, LLC
Track: Healthcare (Wildcard)
University: Northwestern University
Introduction: Sintact Medical Systems develops non-resorbable films, which separate adjacent organs from adhering to each other after surgery. Excessive internal scar formation, referred to as surgical adhesions, causes adjacent tissues and organs to adhere to one another following surgery. Adhesion development is an exceedingly common and pervasive consequence after abdominal, gynecological, or cardiac surgery occurring at a rate of up to 93%. Complications from adhesions add an estimated $4 billion in US healthcare costs due to readmissions, extended stays, and additional surgical procedures. Sintact solves this problem by repurposing an FDA approved coating and employing it as an effective anti-scarring film.
Team: Belleds Technologies
University: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Introduction: Belleds was founded by MIT alumni with the mission of developing smart LED lighting products which are wirelessly connected to the Internet to enable social interactions as well as innovative ways of mixing colorful lights with music to enrich life and create a colorful and joyful living environment.
Track: Social Impact
University: The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Introduction: GreenPoints is a software-as-a-service company that partners with global hotel chains to promote energy efficiency by providing hotel energy usage information in each hotel room. We show guests the best ways to reduce their carbon footprint, and guests challenge themselves to achieve rewards like free stays or meal discounts. They can also see how their energy savings compares to other guests with key customer-facing applications. GreenPoints also provides hotels with ongoing analytics showing energy usage trends so they can recognize opportunities for further energy reductions. Hotels can group guests by their energy usage habits to achieve further savings, or analyze device usage on a per-room level to better justify the cost savings of an energy efficient upgrade.
University: University of Southern California
Introduction: WeeeApp is a software application designed to increase collection and recycling rates of personal electronic devices by utilizing on-screen user analytics and other key enabling technologies to engage electronic device users when they most need recycling assistance – the point at which the device becomes obsolete. When prompted to action, WeeeApp engages the user as an intelligent personal assistant, providing customized information and timely access to convenient recycling solutions. With 82% of all obsolete electronic devices being trashed at landfill and incinerator sites across the globe, WeeeApp is poised to revolutionize the electronic recycling industry with intelligent collection technology.