Tulane Business Model Competition announces finalists

March 25, 2015

A biomedical firm with a technology to regenerate damaged tissue, a medical device manufacturer that's developed a fast, accurate test to diagnose diseases, and a recycling company that extracts rare earth elements from discarded electronic devices have been named as finalists in the 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition.

The three companies — D & P Bioinnovations, Disease Diagnostic Group and REEcycle — will vie for $35,000 in cash prizes in the competition’s final round, which will take place before a live audience at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on April 16.

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Tympanogen's Parastoo Khoshakhlagh makes her pitch at last year's Tulane Business Model Competition. The finals of the 2015 competition will take place on Thursday, April 16, in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II.

They reached the finals by edging out three other ventures in the competition’s semifinal round, which took place on March 23 at the Chicory as part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.

“Participants were judged on the viability and sustainability of their business models and their models’ ability to create substantive intended outcomes,” said Sherif Ebrahim, professor of practice in strategy and innovation and director of entrepreneurship and innovation education at the Freeman School's Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, which coordinates the annual competition. “D&P, DDG and REEcycle demonstrated to judges that they had well-developed business models, which makes them very strong candidates for future success.”

“All our semifinalists did an outstanding job pitching their ventures to judges,” added Lina Alfieri Stern, director of operations with the institute. “I think it was clear to judges that the finalists had done a great job vetting their products and services and pivoting based on what the market told them.”

The 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition finalists and their host universities are as follows:

  • D & P Bioinnovations (Tulane University) -- D&P Bioinnovations is developing a bioresorbable implantable medical device to regenerate a damaged esophagus.
  • Disease Diagnostic Group (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) -- Disease Diagnostic Group (DDG) is a pre-revenue medical device company specializing in the development of rapid, accurate and inexpensive disease diagnostic tests.  The company’s flagship product is RAM (Rapid Assessment of Malaria).
  • REEcycle (University of Houston) -- REEcycle sells reclaimed rare earth elements from magnets used inside electronics, such as hard drives, cell phones and audio speakers.

Serving as judges for the semifinal round were Robert Autenreith, CEO of Pride Marketing and Procurement Inc.; Millie Bradley, retired controller of Exxon Mobil Corp.; E. Pierce Marshall, president/CEO of Elevage Capital Management; Chris Papamichael, principal and co-founder of the Domain Cos.; and David Rieveschl, shareholder and corporate securities attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. Aaron Miscenich, president and CEO of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, served as master of ceremonies.

The final round of the 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition will take place in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II on Thursday, April 16, at 2 p.m., with the winner to be announced later that evening at the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala. The competition is free and open to the public; the gala is by invitation only. For more information about the Tulane Business Model Competition, contact Lina Alfieri Stern at 504-865-5455 or linaa@tulane.edu.