By Karen Surabian, Thomas Stackhouse, and Rose Freel, Contributing Writers, and Rosemarie Truman, Guest Writer
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), led by the Technology Transfer Center (TTC), the Avon Foundation, and The Center for Advancing Innovation have partnered to create a “first-of-a-kind” Breast Cancer Start-up Challenge.
The Challenge features 10 breast cancer inventions (nine from NCI and one from the Avon Foundation) that have commercial viability and are important to public health (see below). The primary goal of the Challenge is to stimulate the creation of start-up businesses based on these inventions.
Team Members Represent Wide Range of Experience
A global effort, the Challenge comprises teams made up of university students, postdocs, and medical residents; seasoned entrepreneurs; and collaborators, mentors, and advisers. Each team will create a business plan using the invention as the basis for a potential start-up company.
Forty-six teams are participating, with members from 48 universities in Canada, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and the United States.
The Challenge will be completed in three phases:
- Letter of Intent (this phase is now complete): Teams provide information regarding the members of their team and indicate how team members meet eligibility requirements. Teams also outline their intent to participate in the Challenge.
- Business Plan: Teams develop a 10-page business plan or business model canvas; a five-minute “live” pitch; and a one-minute elevator speech via recorded video.
- Start-up: Teams incorporate their start-up and apply for seed funding.
Winners of the Business Plan phase will be announced in February 2014, and the successful start-ups will be announced in the summer of 2014.
NCI Inventions and Inventors Breast Cancer Start-up Challenge
Highlights of the Challenge
- Of the nine NCI inventions included in the Challenge, three are from NCI at Frederick labs.
- The teams are made up of an average of nine members, representing legal, medical/scientific, and business fields, as well as a seasoned entrepreneur on each team.
- On average, there are two universities represented on each team.
- A confidential disclosure agreement was drafted by TTC, and 431 individual agreements have been signed.
Media outlets, including CBS News, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), and the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC), as well as White House officials, have announced the Challenge.
Although the Challenge is no longer accepting new teams, you can support the effort by spreading the word and following the Challenge on LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. For more information, including a complete description of the inventions, teams, and participating universities, visit: http://www.breastcancerstartupchallenge.com.
Rosemarie Truman is founder and chief executive officer of The Center for Advancing Innovation, Inc.
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If you have any questions or are not sure which agreement is appropriate for your research situation, contact the NCI Technology Transfer Center office:
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