The Michael G. Wells Competition is a part of the Pitt Ventures Student Challenge sponsored by the Michael G. Wells Entrepreneurial Scholars Fund and is for University of Pittsburgh students who are developing innovations related to the healthcare field. In 2020, the competition is celebrating its 10-year anniversary.
Students this year presented their innovations virtually at the Innovation Showcase to compete for the $20,000 Michael G. Wells Entrepreneurial Scholars Award to help move their idea towards commercialization. A $10,000 second place and $5,000 third place prizes are also awarded. The Innovation Showcase is an annual event hosted by the Innovation Institute that provides University innovators the opportunity to present their ideas to an audience of investors, entrepreneurs, regional economic development representatives, local business executives, and Pitt alumni.
This year, after deliberations by the judges, it was determined that there was not a clear winner. However, they felt that with a little more time and money a winner may become certain. These teams received $5000 to continue work and to recompete in the Spring for the remaining prize funds:
The Biocarpet is a new endovascular device that can be thermoformed to treat peripheral arterial disease occurring in small and complex anatomies, including lesions occurring across joints.
- Jonathan Vande Geest, PhD, Professor, Department of Bioengineering
- Sneha Jeevan, Translational Lead, Department of Bioengineering
- William Wagner, PhD, Director, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Bioengineering and Chemical Engineering
- John Pacella, MD, Interventional Cardiologist at UPMC and Associate Professor in the School of Medicine
An innovative endovascular device that provides oxygenated blood flow to critical abdominal organs to maintain organ health for transplant harvesting.
- Youngjae Chun, PhD, Associate Professor, Departments of Industrial Engineering and Bioengineering
- Moataz Elsisy, PhD Student, Industrial Engineering
- Bryan Tillman, MD, PhD, Director of Vascular Research, Ohio State College of Medicine.
Congratulations to both teams for the opportunity to move their projects forward.