Intel Capital Final Rounds Continue with Integrated Diagnostics from Berkeley

11 04 2009

berkeleyteamfinals

After a brief lunch break for the judges, the Intel Capital Final Round Presentations have resumed at the New Venture Championship. The first team to present its venture after the break was Integrated Diagnostics, from the University of California, Berkeley.

Led by Octavian Florescu, the team introduced HemaScreen, an affordable and efficient way to diagnose HIV. Unlike other HIV detection tests, HemaScreen needs just 10 to 20 minutes to produce results.

Not too shabby considering many HIV tests require an additional appointment just to learn the results of a test. Because the team’s product produces results so quickly, the extra appointment isn’t needed, saving healthcare providers around $70.

Me, Jeremy Liebman, talking with the Berkeley team after their presentation.

Me, Jeremy Liebman, talking with the Octavian Florescu after his presentation.

Integrated Diagnostics hopes to market its product in a clinical trial within two years. If HemaScreen is unable to launch in the United States within two years, the team will look to develop business for its product throughout Europe, Australia, and Japan.

Florescu, along with team members Karl Skucha and Tayson Siegel, benefited from the questions and comments the NVC finalist judges had to offer.

“The judges pushed us from a business perspective.” Florescu said. “They asked us acute and precise questions outside of our areas of expertise.”

While the team has mainly engineering-minded members to construct HemaScreen, the team’s lack of business experience did not hinder their poise. I considered the strongest part of their pitch the Question and Answer portion.

HemaScreen will find out its fate tonight at the Columbia Sportswear Awards Reception. Check back then to find out which team is named the champion of the New Venture Championship.





Castor & Pollux Highlight Intel Capital Final Round Presentations

11 04 2009

The Intel Capital Final Round Presentations have begun at the New Venture Championship. I just sat in on the Castor & Pollux Team’s final pitch to the five finalist judges.

The team, from Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration of Chulalongkorn University, presented their product, LeptoSpot, to the judges.

And I think they performed well.

LeptoSpot proposes an early diagnosis of leptospirosis, a potentially lethal disease that infects around 10 million people annually. The team says that LeptoSpot provides its users with results within 20 minutes, much faster than other leading brands that can take up to four hours to provide a diagnosis.

The venture’s target market would reach 165 million people throughout Southeast Asia. In these relatively poor countries, citizens would have access to LeptoSpot at an affordable price in either 10 or 25 test packages.

I thought that the portion of their presentation that was most interesting during the Castor & Pollux presentation, was the Question and Answer segment. The five finalists judges that include elite business experts Julie Dexter Berg, Kirby Dyess, Georges C. St. Laurent, Jr., Luis Muchuca and Greg Quesnel, asked tough questions regarding certification and proper testing opportunities for the product.

Me, Jeremy Liebman, talking with Castor & Pollux after the team's final pitch.

Me, Jeremy Liebman, talking with Castor & Pollux after the team's final pitch.

Despite a few rough patches, members of Castor & Pollux, Tanaphat, Patcharin Pratheeptham, Sorradithep Supachanya and Thanan Suthipongmitri, were enthusiastic about their experience at the New Venture Championship.

“The NVC has been a great experience,” team member Tanaphat Laohavisit said. “We have received phenomenal feedback from the judges about ways to improve our pitch.”

Laohavisit and the rest of his Castor & Pollux team will find out tonight if their venture will be deemed ready for the $50,000 investment as the NVC concludes this evening. Check back later to the NVC Blog and Twitter page to learn which team is named the winner.