2016 Big Bang! Business Competition: Finalists Vie for $50,000 in Prizes
Final Presentations + Awards Ceremony — May 26
The five finalist teams in the 2016 UC Davis Big Bang! Business Competition will pitch their ventures this Thursday, May 26, at an awards ceremony at the Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center.
Forty-two teams representing 120 aspiring entrepreneurs participated in the 16th annual competition. The contest provides workshops, mentorship, financing guidance and networking opportunities to accelerate commercialization and advance the startup process, and is open to students, faculty, researchers and staff.
$50,000 in prizes is at stake, the largest pot in the competition’s history. The first prize award is $10,000 cash, plus $10,000 in in-kind services from Davis Roots, a local startup incubator with strong ties to both the university and the city of Davis. The second place team will receive $5,000 in cash, plus $10,000 in in-kind services from Davis Roots. Attendees at Thursday’s event will vote to select the $2,500 People’s Choice Award winner.
Another $12,500 in prizes will be awarded to top concepts addressing biomedical innovation, clean tech, global poverty alleviation, and innovation in food and agriculture.
“We’re pleased to see the high caliber of this year’s finalists,” said Cleveland Justis, executive director of the UC Davis Child Family Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which organizes and hosts the competition. “UC Davis has made a determined effort campus-wide to support innovation and entrepreneurship, and the results are really starting to pay off.”
The Big Bang! has produced many teams that have become successful startups since the contest began in 2000.
“Particularly impressive this year is the degree to which we’re seeing companies grounded in UC Davis’ strengths in biomedical innovation, energy and computer science. These companies will change the world and—with determination—become profitable.”
The five teams presenting at the ceremony are:
Eclasstic trains international students and business
professionals in English communication skills in the context
of U.S. business and academic culture. Using a
blended learning method,
trainees attend live sessions and use an interactive
video-based app to improve communication for teams, achieve
clarity in pronunciation, and add critical skills to be more
successful in work and study. View
Team Lead: Matthew Vendryes, English instructor, UC Davis Extension
ImmunoTag develops novel antibody
conjugation technologies. Its patented platform Linker
Technology allows ImmunoTag to link virtually any small
molecule to any antibody in as little as 15 minutes, saving
hundreds of millions of dollars in drug manufacturing costs,
speeding the approval of its drugs through clinical trials, and
prolonging and saving the lives of millions of cancer patients
each year. View video
Team Lead: Samantha Feng, Ph. D. candidate, pharmacology and toxicology, UC Davis
Phoenix Lift hopes
to revolutionize the orthotic market with an
affordable device that alleviates drop foot. The device knows
where in the walking cycle the user is, and
automatically lifts their foot. View video
Team Lead: Gabriel Jagoe-Seidl, 4th year student, biomedical engineering, UC Davis
PlayPatch has created a
wearable fertility tracker that makes natural birth control
easy. The PlayPatch is as effective as the pill and offers a
solution for the 6.6 million U.S. women who are dissatisfied
with their contraceptive method. View video
Team Members: Team lead Justin Klein, Ph.D. candidate, biomedical engineering, UC Davis; Chuck Temple, UC Davis MBA student
Super Lithium Technology is developing
the most durable high-power battery for automobiles and
stationary energy storage.
View video >
Team Lead: Sam Zhang, Ph.D., biological systems engineering, UC Davis. Team includes Ari Halberstadt, UC Davis MBA student.
- Anthony Soohoo, founder and CEO, Dot & Bo
A reception begins at 5 p.m., with presentations and the awards ceremony from 6 to 8 p.m. at the UC Davis Walter A. Buehler Alumni Center. Admission is free, but reservations are requested. RSVP here >
Platinum level: Andy Barkett, Davis Roots, DLA Piper, Morrison & Foerster, Sierra Energy
Gold level: Lamplighter Financial
Silver level: Akers Capital LLC, Central Valley Fund, CITRIS, Ernst & Young, Five Star Bank, Moss Adams LLP, Gary Simon, SMUD, UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies, Office of Research, School of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine and World Food Center
Bronze level: Bay Area Council, Dow, PIPRA