Panasci winners take second in statewide competition

Published May 7, 2015

PhotoZyne, the startup led by three UB graduate students that won this year’s Henry A. Panasci Jr. Technology Entrepreneurship Competition (Panasci TEC), has done it again — this time at the state level.

Michael Bisogno, an MD/MBA student; Kevin Carter, a master’s student in biomedical engineering; and Jonathan Smyth, a third-year law student, won second place and a $5,000 cash prize in the New York Business Plan Competition for their company that offers an effective and minimally invasive way to deliver cancer treatments.

The student entrepreneurs competed against more than 500 student-led teams from 65 colleges and universities across the state in the sixth annual competition, presented by SUNY Polytechnic Institute’s Colleges of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, the University at Albany School of Business, and Syracuse University.

A panel of national venture capitalists, angel investors, investment bankers and entrepreneurs selected the winning teams.

Earlier this month, PhotoZyne captured first place in UB’s Panasci TEC, collecting $25,000 in startup capital and more than $27,000 worth of in-kind services for the venture.

With the startup’s technology, a “smart” nanoballoon safely delivers cancer treatments intravenously to solid tumors, and the drug is then activated by exposure to a special laser light probe. The creators say the focused delivery helps decrease recurrence, resistance and side effects, and will improve survival rates.