Driving Innovation in Breast Cancer: Startup Challenge

The Avon Foundation (AF), National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI) have partnered to launch a “first of a kind” Business Plan and Start-Up Challenge for Breast Cancer (BC) inventions that have high commercial viability and are important to public health. This challenge will accelerate the commercialization of Federal agency and AF grantee BC inventions, spur economic growth, and provide Universities a platform to further develop their entrepreneurship learning portfolio.

Driving InnovationA few facts about the Challenge:

  • Focus: Each Challenge team can select one of 10 NCI or AF grantee BC inventions
  • Timing: Invention information will be available on or around September 3, 2013. The official launch is October 1. Please go to this website to find out more: http://www.BreastCancerStartupChallenge.com
  • Phases: Three phases – Letter of Intent, Business Plan and Start-up
  • Challenge Teams’ Opportunity:
    • Business Plan Prize:  Up to 100 teams will participate, 10 teams per invention.  There will be one $5K prize per invention ($50k in total awards)
    • Team Design: Must have three University students. Team leads can invite whomever they wish to their team; there is no maximum size. The Challenge Team must have at least four disciplines: medical/scientific, legal, business and entrepreneurship (students do not need to have these disciplines as long as they are represented). Please note, the team must include a seasoned entrepreneur
    • Scope: Global; any University in the world may participate
  • Start-up Phase Seed Funding: Up to 30 successful start-ups will apply and be awarded funding which could range from $100K to over $1MM
  • Funding will come from venture capital, economic development corporations, Avon Foundation or other private sources. Funding will not be provided from the NIH

Please support the effort: spread the word, consider startups for seed funding, nominate a judge/mentor, or join a team! Share your enthusiasm for this Challenge on our social media sites: Facebook – “Breast Cancer Start-up Challenge” and Twitter –  @BCSChallenge. Contact us for more information at rt@thecenterforadvancinginnovation.org or 202-438-2208.

Rosemarie Truman is Founder and CEO of The Center for Advancing Innovation whose mission is to accelerate and increase the volume of technology transfer, translational research and commercialization.

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