By Texas A&M Engineering
Innovation was on full display this week at the sixth annual Texas A&M New Ventures Competition (TNVC) hosted by the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). Due to safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers shifted the event to a virtual platform.
Dr. Albert Huang’s company Allotrope Medical took home the top $50,000 prize for the StimSite technology, which is a smooth muscle stimulation technology that allows surgeons to rapidly and safely identify critical tissue structures, like the ureter, during surgery.
“Winning this year’s TNVC competition is truly the highlight of 2020 for us. Not only will the award allow us to continue our rapid advancements and commercialization, but it has increased our visibility within the startup ecosystem in Texas and beyond,” Huang said. “Certainly this year’s competition was different by necessity, but thanks to the hard work of TNVC, the connections, interactivity and overall flow of the event over the course of two days were seamless.
“During these uncertain times, this competition was one of the rare moments where the startup community can join together from afar to support one another and see the amazing things we are all doing even though many of us are working from home. Innovation doesn’t stop, we just all have to adapt,” he said.
“Despite having to move everything pretty quickly over to a fully online format this year, we had a tremendous group of startups competing. It was important to us, and to them, to hold this year’s event,” said Chris Scotti, entrepreneur-in-residence for TEES and chair of the competition. “These startups are not only providing the opportunity to support the local and state economies, but their ideas have the potential to improve the health and well-being of our citizens and the environment.”
The prize pool for this year’s competition was nearly $400,000 in cash and in-kind services.