ESTEEM Students Headed to McCloskey

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM

Four members of the ESTEEM Class of 2014 are participating in the McCloskey Business Plan Competition that will be held at Notre Dame on April 10-12. Finn Pegler and Daniel Collins are presenting their project called FitPetz, Patrick Rice is on a team that is presenting NanDio, and Amanda Miller is on a team that is presenting Imani Health. The teams are among 12 that will present at the competition’s semifinals on April 10.

FitPetz developed from a project that Collins proposed at the Mendoza College of Business’s Ideas Challenge last fall. Collins, who has an undergraduate degree in physics, recruited Pegler, and the two recently added an anthropology major to gain insight on what motivates children. FitPetz aims to track children’s activity and motivate them by arranging for their outside play to count as points toward level advancement in their favorite videogames. “They’ll be able to gather these points by going outside,” Collins said. “They can level up rather than just playing the game for hours.”

Imani Health aims to move into commercialization a low-cost, low-tech Paper Analytic Device (PAD) based on the research of Marya Lieberman, an associate professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The device permits a simple field test with computer-printed cards for detecting fake or low-quality drugs, a major problem in many developing countries.

NanDio is translating technology to detect oral cancer linked to HPV, a cancer that has grown more common as oral cancers related to alcohol and tobacco have declined. The technology, a simple rinse-and-spit test, was developed by Sharon Stack of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Hsueh-Chia Chang of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with a collaborator at the University of Missouri. Rice, whose capstone thesis is on the technology is COO of the group, which was organized by Gaylene Anderson of the Office of Technology Transfer and includes two MBA students, a patent law student, and an undergraduate from Notre Dame and an M.D.-Ph.D. student from the University of Missouri.

The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business hosts the McCloskey Business Plan Competition, which is in its 14th year. The program offers a total of $300,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, including a $25,000 first prize. Last year’s winning and runner-up teams both included ESTEEM students.