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Pre-Seed Workshop will assess the viability of new startup concepts

Release Date: May 26, 2015

“This program showcases the entrepreneurial spirit in our region, while providing a platform for high-tech industry and an essential filtering process to determine if an idea is likely to succeed.”
Sandra Small, CBLS pre-seed program chair and workforce development associate
University at Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Three University at Buffalo students are participating in a Pre-Seed Workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs interested in launching a high-tech company.

The workshop begins Wednesday, May 27, with a kickoff dinner. On May 28 and June 4, teams will work through a series of facilitated, hands-on sessions to investigate and further develop pre-seed stage companies.

“This program showcases the entrepreneurial spirit in our region, while providing a platform for high-tech industry and an essential filtering process to determine if an idea is likely to succeed,” said Sandra Small, pre-seed program chair and workforce development associate at UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences (CBLS).

The two days of programming will bring together technical, legal, business, finance and marketing experts in the community to determine the viability of new startup concepts potentially being spun out of universities, hospitals and inventors’ basements.

News media members are encouraged to attend the final pitch sessions on June 4. The event, from 1:30-3:30 p.m., will take place at CBLS, 701 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

Media interested in attending should contact Julie Molenda at juliemol@buffalo.edu.

Ideas being showcased at the workshop include:

  • A technology that offers a global solution for toileting by providing safe, comfortable support while restoring independence and dignity to individuals who suffer from neurological maladies.
  • A cost-effective technology designed to address limitations of current vaccines, developing in part by Charles Jones, a doctoral candidate in UB's Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
  • A balloon-based dialysis catheter that improves blood flow and reduces the need for catheter exchanges due to fibrin and thrombus for dialysis patients.
  • A new immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer.
  • A novel testing device for the rapid detection of the bacterial pathogen Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
  • A dentifrice encapsulated within an edible film.
  • A method to remove heavy metals from drinking water.
  • A technical innovation for generating sounds from human movement.
  • A new method of waste collection for ostomy patients. It would replace the current bag method.
  • A method to provide equipment and support services to the construction industry through 3-D printing technology, developed in part by UB students Kedar Ratnakar and Ajinkya Lonikar.

The Pre-Seed Workshop, founded and facilitated by Mark Wilson and Judy Albers, has helped more than 200 entrepreneurs statewide decide whether they are ready to start a high-tech business.

Pre-Seed workshops also help to train the next wave of entrepreneurs, inviting undergraduate, graduate and professional students to gain real-world experience by sitting on idea teams alongside scientists and business experts.

Sponsors of the 2015 Pre-Seed Workshop include the CBLS, UB’s Office of Economic Development (OED), UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI), UB’s Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR), Hodgson Russ LLP, New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYSSTLC), Launch NY, New York State Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) and the Western New York Innovation Hot Spot.

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