WPI Venture Forum Business Plan Contest
Finalists 2010

Web Conference Presentations

Six entrepreneurs presented competitive PowerPoint slides via web conference on Thursday, October 28, 2010 to win one of three slots in the final round of the 17th annual WPI Venture Forum Northeast Technology Business Plan Contest to be held November 9, 2010 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  The entrepreneurs were: Robert Breznak of Neuron Robotics; Jonathan Brown of Axena Technologies; Claudia Blumenstock of Three of Hearts; Pedro Santos of OsComp Systems; Martin Mbaya of Nairobi Capital; and Mel Prenowitz of EndoSphere.

After three hours of web presentations and one hour of deliberation, the second round judges, Will Cowen of Long River Ventures; Andy Clapp of , and Barb Finer of QuiVivity Marketing Partners; announced three finalists: Neuron Robotics, Axena Tehcnologies, and OsComp Systems.

Robert Breznak and Kevin Harrington
Neuron Robotics

Neuron Robotics 

Neuron Robotics - Neuron Robotics makes tools for simplifying the robot building process and is focused on bringing their affordable solutions to a $25 billion dollar market. Their universal robot language, Turbo BCS™, standardizes the way that the pieces of a robot talk to each other and simplifies the robotics development process. The first tool that uses Turbo BCS™, the DyIO™, is a inexpensive module drastically reducingthe time and effort required to build a robot to get users up and running in as little as 8 minutes. They are building on their current success in the Education field to become a key player in the robotics industry.

Neuron Robotics is seeking $1.0M to set up their production facility in Worcester, scale up production and meet sales for growing demand.

An Son Leong, Jonathan Brown, and Joseph Ramos
Aexna Technologies

Axena Technologies 

AxenaTechnologies   An early stage start-up working to combat healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Nearly 100,000 Americans die annually from HAIs, more than double the number killed in car accidents. On average, the 2 million patients with HAIs will stay 19 extra days in the hospital, adding $45 billion in unnecessary expenses.  Medical tubing such as catheters and endotracheal tubes cause 61% of all HAIs. Catheter-related infections typically occur in the bloodstream or urinary tract. More deadly than these, Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) occurs when bacteria invade the lungs after colonizing intubated endotracheal tubes. Each year, 250,000 people are infected, 36,000 die, and $10 billion are lost in attempts to treat VAP.  Axena Technologies has a novel, cost-effective method for combating HAIs resulting from medical tubing. Axena’s patent-pending nano-scale coating kills bacteria and prevents biofilm formation. Axena’s solution is distinguished from its competition in several ways: 1) The nano-particle structure increases exposed surface area and effectiveness; 2) The active ingredient is a micronutrient that is necessary for a healthy diet; 3) The simple, patentable coating process uses two inexpensive chemicals, which promotes scalability; 4) The coating has absolute resistance to UV light.  Laboratory tests have shown Axena’s coated endotracheal tubes have 36 times less bacteria growth than standard tubes, and six times less bacteria growth than the only existing antibacterial endotracheal tube. Axena’s combination of low cost and high effectiveness will allow the company to become the standard in the $1.2 billion antibacterial endotracheal tube market all-the-while saving 24,000 lives annually.

Axena is seeking $200K for animal testing.

Pedro Santos
OsComp Systems

OsComp Systems 

OsComp Systems - Compression costs affect the entire natural gas supply chain from wellheads all the way until the end user. In the United States, natural gas compressors consume >$100 billion in fuel/electricity and generate >120 million tons of CO2 each year. Sales of natural gas compressors is a $7.2 billion/yr market (2010). Natural gas use and production is expected to double by 2030, according to a recent study by MIT on the Future of Natural Gas. The industry is expected to have accelerated growth in the near future as well as sustained long-term demand. OsComp Systems’ (OCS) team of MIT engineers has invented a breakthrough, patent-pending technology that reduces operating and capital costs of compression by over 30%. OCS makes marginal gas wells profitable once again, and increases the margins from already profitable ones. The DOE Stripper Well Consortium awarded OCS a grant and selected it as its #1 project in 2010, validating its importance to the sector.

OsComp is seeking $2.5M to take us through field trials of our technology.

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Last modified: November 23, 2010 11:24:01