During Q4 of 2008 while I was working for Greenwood Technologies and trying to start Advanced Motion Technologies (AMT), I decided to participate in an internship program through the University of Washington TechTransfer office (now known as the Center for Commercialization) called LaunchPad (now called the New Venture Group). LaunchPad paired MBA and graduate students (and in my case a recent graduate) with a technology that was being developed at UW. The purpose of the project was to determine a potential market for the technology and other activities related to determining if a company could be started around the technology.

The group I chose had a technology that allowed the oxygen saturation of muscle tissue to be measured continuously and noninvasively. The technology would be used to detect when a hospital patient was starting to go into shock (which is the leading cause of death in Intensive Care Units) giving doctors a better chance to save the patient. The technology works in a similar way to a pulse oximeter (the device that has a red light and clips onto your finger to measure blood oxygen saturation).

After completing the LaunchPad internship I was asked if I wanted to assemble a team and take the technology through the UW Business Plan Competition. I was able to recruit Anthony Rodriguez, a PhD candidate in the Bioengineering Department as well as Ryan Bergsman, an evening MBA student who was also a full time employee with Dendreon. Our team also had the support of Chris Porter, a local medical device entrepreneur, Deborah Kessler, an entrepreneur in residence at UW, Kenneth Schenkman, the inventor of the technology, Lorilee Arakaki and Wayne Ciesielski, researchers in the Schenkman Lab, and Chris Igielski, a technology manager at UW.

Over the course of several months our team competed in four rounds of judging, created a business plan and several summaries of different lengths, as well as posters for one of the judging rounds. Below is a chart showing the progress of our company and the future milestones we hoped to meet.

The sections of the business plan were divided among me and the two students. I was responsible for the science, intellectual property, management team and advisory board, market size, and competition sections. I also decided to create a mockup of what our device could look like (at the time of the BPC it was a lab bench device), which is shown below.

The Visa in the image above was put there as a size reference.

The image below shows our team at the Investment Round. During this round teams were required to pitch their business to judges who could award imaginary money to the companies they thought would have the greatest chance for success. The 16 companies with the most money would move onto the next round.

Photo: Erik Roby, Deborah Kessler, Kenneth Schenkman, Anthony Rodriguez, Ryan Bergsman (left to right)

Our team ended up finishing in third place out of 90 teams. We were awarded $5,000 for placing third, along with another $2,500 for winning the Best Innovation Idea prize. Below is an image of our team with the prize check.

Photo: Anthony Rodriguez, Wayne Ciesielski, Ryan Bergsman, Erik Roby, Chris Igielski (left to right)

The Shockmetrics logo was designed by Lily Donovan-Seid.

Team members: Ryan Bergsman, Anthony Rodriguez