Now in its 15th year, the Tulane Business Model Competition was host to local, regional and national companies in the final round, which took place last Thursday prior to the annual gala where the winners are announced.
Teams were selected from Tulane University, the University of Houston, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Judges included: John Elstrott, Chairman of the Board, Whole Foods; Albert Lepage, retired co-chairman, Lepage Bakeries; Ed Michael Reggie, managing director and CEO, Future Factory; Matt Schwartz, founder and principal, Domain Companies; Thomas Turner, president, Turner Industries; and Srin Vishnawath, CFO, Green Wave Healthcare Technologies.
Disease Diagnostic Group from MIT was announced the first prize winner and walked away with $25,000 last week. The company is specializing in the development of rapid, accurate and inexpensive disease diagnostic test. Their flagship product is RAM (Rapid Assessment of Malaria).
The Massachusetts-based company will advance further to the International Business Model Competition headquartered at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The International Business Model Competition represents the first competition of its kind in the world and is part of a groundbreaking approach to entrepreneurship that focuses on the process of improving the inputs into entrepreneurship rather than the outputs.
The Tulane team, D&P Bioinnovations, placed second taking home $10,000 from the competition. The company is developing a bioresorbable, implantable device to regenerate a damaged esophagus.
REEcycle, from Houston, is selling reclaimed rare earth elements from magnets used inside electronics such as cell phones, audio speakers, and hard drives. The startup was awarded $2,500 from the competition.