PCI Ventures Fall 2016 Newsletter
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PCI Ventures
In August, PCI Ventures moved into its new home in the Pennovation Center! We want to thank all of our generous partners who helped us achieve this milestone. 

- In This Issue -

  • AppItUP Challenge Fall Event Set for Nov. 17th
  • PCI Ventures Celebrates 4th Annual Showcase 
  • SonoSolve Wins DevelUPmed Challenge & $50k Investment
  • ExcaliVir Closes Co-development Deal with Major Life Sciences Company
  • Ghost Robotics Ghost Minitaur Goes Viral
  • Linnaeus Therapeutics Engages Pat Mooney as CEO and Raises Money from Angels
  • PolyAurum Wins Best in Show at Mid Atlantic Bio Angels 1st Pitch
  • Quantitative Radiology Solutions' CEO Joe Camarrata Named PCI Ventures CEO of the Year
  • Rescufy Launches Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign
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Watch a startup be born! Register today for the AppItUP Challenge Fall event!

November 17th at 4:00 PM
Quorum at the Science Center

The submission period for the 4th cycle of the AppItUP Challenge came to a close on October 9th and now VC judges from all over the country are scoring the ideas. This season, AppItUP received 233 submissions from 10 schools across the Penn campus. The ten highest-rated submissions will be selected to pitch at the AppItUP Challenge Fall Event on November 17th, and five application developers will each pick an idea to build. While the developers are building prototypes, PCI Ventures will be working with the founders to form companies, management teams, and business plans for the new startups!
PCI Ventures held its 4th Annual Showcase at its new home in the Pennovation Center on September 22nd. Nearly 200 attendees came to the event, which featured remarks by Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President of the University of Pennsylvania. More than 30 UPstart companies presented short pitches and posters to a gallery full of investors, developers, and entrepreneurs.
This year’s PCI Ventures Showcase also featured the inaugural DevelUPmed Demo Day. DevelUPmed finalist companies Angiio, Shock Analytics, and SonoSolve had the opportunity to pitch their devices and businesses to a packed house. Ben Franklin Technology Partners selected SonoSolve as the winner of the 2016 DevelUPmed Challenge and the recipient of the $50,000 offer of investment. SonoSolve, helmed by CEO Steve Davis, is developing a revolutionary device to eliminate catheter-associated complications using non-invasive sound waves to clear obstructions. SonoSolve was founded by neurosurgery residents Jayesh Thawani and Jared Pisapia as well as Drs.  Andrew Tsourkas, Sean Grady, and Matt Zhu.
ExcaliVir, Inc. is pleased to announce significant investment into the company to support diagnostic development of biomarkers in breast cancer. ExcaliVir is a molecular diagnostics company with an initial focus on the diagnosis and management of cancer. Its core proprietary technology, a microarray platform (PathoChip), identifies the microbiome specifically associated with cancer potentially providing diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment options. “We are pleased with this infusion of capital into the company, which will allow us to build on our initial finding of a microbial signature in triple negative breast cancer and determine the potential clinical application,” said Joseph E. Zack, CEO. “This may have important implications to patient management and we are excited about being able to bring this research forward.”
Ghost Robotics’ direct-drive quadruped robot Ghost Minitaur TM has stolen the hearts of tech lovers all over the globe. Since its video debut, the Minitaur has been featured on SlashGear, Engadget, Popular Science, and the Daily Mail among others. The agile robot can run, jump, scale fences, and even open doors. You might have seen the Minitaur in action as it delivered the ceremonial ribbon-cutting scissors to Penn President Amy Gutmann at the Pennovation Center Grand Opening. The company was founded by Penn Engineering PhD students Avik De and Gavin Kenneally, and is headed by CEO Jiren Parikh. Check out IEEE Spectrum for an interview with the founders!
Linnaeus Therapeutics, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has signed Dr. Patrick Mooney as its CEO. Patrick joins Linnaeus Therapeutics with over 15 years of experience in the biotechnology industry including CEO of privately and publically held companies in pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Linnaeus has raised a seed round of angel investment to further its preclinical development program of small molecule therapeutics for skin diseases and melanoma.
The Mid Atlantic Bio Angels named PolyAurum the winner of the 1st Pitch Life Science Philadelphia competition. PolyAurum is a preclinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of biodegradable gold nanoparticles (BGNPs) for the treatment of cancer. The company has already seen impressive results in an animal model of glioblastoma - a very difficult-to-treat brain cancer with average survival of about one year post-diagnosis. “The recognition we have received from Mid Atlantic Bio Angels validates our business approach as well as confirming the potential value of the data we have generated to date,” said Debra S. Travers, president and CEO of PolyAurum.
Joe Camaratta, the CEO of Quantitative Radiology Solutions, was awarded the PCI Ventures CEO of the Year Award for 2016. Under Joe’s leadership, the company has secured multiple commercialization grants from NIH and NSF as well as funding from Phase 1 Ventures to further develop its medical imaging software to aid in radiation therapy planning. The company is located in Philadelphia and attracted and retained young talented engineers to work in the city.
Rescufy, the winner of the first cycle of AppItUP, has developed an anaphylaxis emergency app designed specifically for sufferers of severe allergies and asthma. Rescufy captures the key information that emergency responders and medical personnel need to help users in an emergency - with a few easy steps users will be able to access help with just the tap of a button. Now Rescufy has launched an Indiegogo campaign to build additional functionality into the app including a feature that connects an epinephrine injector to a smartphone, which notifies users if they get too far away from it. The app also will allow users to digitally hand off their profile to a babysitter so they can get help just as fast in an emergency.  After a set period of time, the user's profile will disappear off their babysitter's phone to keep personal information safe.
Copyright © 2016 PCI Ventures at the Pennovation Center, All rights reserved.

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