New Orleans-based Tympanogen, led by a team of engineers and physicians at Tulane University, has created a new medical technology, a gel patch called Perf-Fix, that will provide a non-surgical treatment to eardrum perforations. Their innovative technology led them to the Rice University Business Plan Competition, the largest graduate-level student startup competition in the world.
After being named one of only six finalists out of over 500 applicants, the startup finished the competition with three prizes totaling $44,000 at the final round in Houston, Texas.
The team received a $20,000 award from the nCourage Entrepreneurs Investment Group for the top women-led startups at the competition, as well as the $20,000 NASA Earth/Space Human Health & Performance Innovation Cash Prize, which goes to the best life science startup whose technology has applications to NASA and the space program.
Following the Rice competition, Tympanogen co-founder Elaine Horn-Ranney said that the connections they made to investors, surgeons and experienced biotech entrepreneurs are invaluable.
Horn-Ranney was grateful for the incredible opportunity to gain experience and take the company to the next level.
There are one million related surgeries per year, many performed on children, resulting in need for a repair method with a higher success rate, and the Perf-Fix™ patches do just that at one tenth of the price.
“The feedback from the judges of the competition, who are mostly investors, was extremely positive. Many had children who had undergone the surgery our product will replace, and they could easily relate to the issue Perf-Fix resolves. This gave us further validation that Tympanogen is on the correct path to commercializing this much-needed gel patch and getting it to patients and their families quickly.”
The influx of funds will be used to support the next phase of testing.
Tympanogen also recently won the Tulane Business Model Competition, taking home the $25,000 grand prize check and entrance into the International Business Model Competition as a semi finalist.
The company works closely with the New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC), a technology business incubator and a hub for promising companies. NOBIC is excited to see where the startup will be a few years down the road.