Student Ideas

entrepreneur_2002_cover.jpgWhen I got my MBA at Washington University, we had a business plan competition.  [Which I won one year and took second the other year.]  It was fun and challenging.  You got to present to a group of CEOs at the end.  (Mine included Chuck Knight (Emerson Electric) and Andy Taylor (Enterprise Rent-a-Car)  But, it was more an exercise than starting a company.

As entrepreneurship has become a big focus in business school, this has taken on a life of its own.  Wash U, like many schools, has staff dedicated to this.  The business plan competition has corporate sponsors and now VCs come to look at the ideas.  Additionally, entrepreneurs give their ideas to students to work on for 6 months and flush them out for them. 

What I found interesting was the number of business plans written this year that had a healthcare focus.  They have a website called IdeaBounce where all of these are posted.  I took a few bullets from there to highlight here: [to see the specific ideas from this competition on IdeaBounce sort it based on programs [Olin Cup] on the right hand side of the screen]

  • Medi-bite is a medical device company that has developed technology to facilitate the recovery of people affected by temporomandibular (jaw) joint injury.   Temporomandibular joint injury affects 100,000 people in the U.S. annually. Injury makes eating difficult, interferes with speech, and often reduces one’s effectiveness on the job. The standard of care involves physical therapy sessions, and is often painful, inconvenient and insufficient to treat the condition fully. Medi-bite has developed technology to address these unmet needs.

  • Medobo is a company that provides services and tools for medical patients to holistically manage their health online. medobo retrieves medical records and consolidates them into an easy-to-use, secure, and private online personal health record (PHR). medobo also provides appointment and prescription management tools, a library of medical research, and a targeted medical web search engine.

  • Over 6,000,000 patients enter US emergency rooms annually complaining of abdominal pain. Current method of diagnosis of appendicitis is difficult because of considerable overlap with other clinical conditions, (15-40% error rate)! We are developing a blood test to accurately diagnose appendicitis within 5 minutes. Our company is working on identifying biomarkers from clinical samples. We hope to develop low cost, point-of-care, disposable diagnostic strips to clinicians in emergency room. We are an early stage company looking for financial, business & logistical support to execute our plan

  • You’re sick and at your doctor’s office – why not pick up your prescription while there? MedBox offers a Web-enabled, robotically controlled, videoconferenced dispensing pharmacy for doctor’s offices, run by local pharmacies. In the $200 billion prescription marketplace, where no company has more than 10% market share, this new paradigm places diagnosis and treatment in the same place – convenient for consumers. MedBox is easier for patients and doctors, attractive to insurance companies and profitable for pharmacies by streamlining an antiquated healthcare system.

  • Personal Pediatrics is a platform by which pediatricians in its network can dramatically take control of their practice. Physicians who adopt its retainer-based house call practice method provide HIPAA-compliant, boutique, patient-focused health care. Dr. Hodge has developed the Personal Pediatrics care model in her St. Louis practice for more than two years, tailoring offerings to consumer needs and designing technology solutions to replace high physician overhead.

Some of the biotech ideas were also impressive.  It has come a long way from where it was in the early 90s.

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