Student Heparin Test Wins Innovation Challenge ’13
Published: Monday, March 4, 2013
Updated: Thursday, August 29, 2013 13:08
Innovation Challenge ’13 showcased 37 student teams that created innovations under the categories of tangible goods, intangible goods and corn.
Erin Nyren-Erickson, a graduate student in pharmaceutical sciences, won the tangible innovations category and best-in-show awards with her innovation that developed a new kind of test for contaminants in heparin, a blood-thinning drug, according to a University news release. These two awards combined for $10,000.
Team Improving Osteointegration won the intangible innovation category. Their project dealt with determining ideal pore size for growing cells that will allow a new dental implant.
Team Corn Oncologists won the corn category award for using corn particles as encapsulation material for colon cancer drug delivery.
Team Midwest Best won the People’s Choice award for a software program that uses cameras to determine fault during car accidents.
Randal Pinkett, the founder, chair and CEO of BCT Partners, gave the keynote address and handed out the awards at the ceremony Thursday evening. BCT Partners is a multimillion-dollar management consulting and information technology firm, according to a University press release.
“This is the catalyst needed to galvanize these students around an idea,” Pinkett said. He said the participants are just normal students, but what sets them apart is that they have accepted the challenge of the competition.
“Success is where opportunity meets preparation,” Pinkett said. “Innovation Week was the opportunity and these folks came prepared.” He also emphasized the advantage these students have by going to school in a time where resources are made available.
“Back in the days, innovations were restricted to secret societies and in dormitories and laboratories,” Pinkett said, reflecting on the years when he was in school. “Now these students are lucky to have such platforms for displaying ingenuity.”
Pinkett has received many awards for business and technology excellence and was also the winner of the NBC reality T.V. show, “The Apprentice.”
“Entrepreneurship is not what you do; it’s in the way you think,” Pinkett said. “Everyone can be an entrepreneur, irrespective of what educational background they are from.”