Big Bang! semifinalist Carl Jensen presents at the Dry Run presentations.

Congratulations, Big Bang! 2014 Semifinalists

We are happy to announce our 2014 Big Bang! Business Competition semifinalists. These 15 teams have been selected from the record 66 teams—representing more than 200 aspiring entrepreneurs—that have participated in this year’s contest. They will compete in the semifinals May 16.

Please join us for the Big Bang! Finals and Awards Ceremony on May 22.
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Ambercycle Inc.

Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Akshay Sethi, Undergraduate, Biochemical and Molecular Biology

Ambercycle Inc. focuses on making plastic recycling profitable and sustainable, using synthetic biology to engineer custom-tailored organisms that can degrade plastics into high-value chemical components. This novel process lowers the cost of recycling plastics and provides waste-generators and producers a sustainable and economically sensible choice for the disposal and synthesis of plastics.


Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Angela Courtney, Doctoral Candidate, Comparative Pathology

Adrastia Biotechnology is dedicated to advancements in early breast cancer detection. Their research has identified a protein present in a simple urine test that indicates the presence of breast cancer. They are developing a device that will allow clinicians, medical labs, oncologists and physicians to deliver this test in-clinic as part of routine medical screening.

Beyond Profits

Team Lead: Brendan Janet
UC Davis Affiliate: Tracy O’Bryan, Specialist, Plant Sciences

Beyond Profits helps international communities realize and grow their wealth. As a wholesale distributor, Beyond Profits works directly with small farmers in developing countries to provide healthy and ethical food alternatives to U.S. customers. Beyond Profits sells novelty food items, used for centuries by indigenous cultures around the world, to U.S. customers. Their first product, cohune oil, is a rich creamy oil from Central America used by the Mayans for cooking, soaps and other health purposes.

MedWorks Medicine By Design

Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Benjamin Samudio, Graduate Student in Chemistry and Business Development Fellow

MedWorks Medicine by Design provides an online collaborative platform to engage students, the public and medical researchers in learning about and designing medicine computationally. MWMD then processes the information and uses it to sell actionable knowledge to biotech and pharmaceutical companies. This information lowers their cost of making medicine by 20 percent on average, accelerates the medicine-making process and provides novel ideas for better medicine.


Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Todd Wallace, MBA Student

MyRealETA is a real-time GPS tracking service for any company that wants to provide end customers with accurate arrival times.

Nevap Inc.

Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Benjamin Wang, Alumnus

Nevap Inc. develops disposable medical devices to prevent Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP), the most common and most expensive to treat hospital-acquired infection.


Team Lead: Renee’ Marie

Nibble-Yer-Scribble (NYS) provides a tasteful, convenient and creative alternative to delivering cakes or cupcakes to busy classrooms and other events. The “Party Cookie Kit” transports easily in a child’s backpack to the classroom, camp, field trips or sleepover parties. The smooth-top, 3-inch cookies are ready-to-decorate-and-eat.


Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Anh Nguyen, MBA Student

ProMotion is an indoor mobile navigation and marketing platform that integrates with existing CRM systems. It provides accurate in-store location monitoring, and allows retailers to use this data to personalize the in-store shopping experience with real-time promotions and recommendations straight to the smartphone.

Rowy Networks

Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Chris Jackson, Alumnus

Rowy Networks builds applications and databases to automate agricultural inspections. Our application will electronically track all livestock on a statewide level, including livestock bought, sold, stolen, ticketed, health checks, entering and leaving the state, and quarantined.

SenseTerra LLC

Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Robert Coates, Associate Development Engineer, Biological and Agricultural Engineering; SATIC Innovation Seed Grant Recipient

SenseTerra manufactures a more-affordable, customizable, cloud-connected wireless network solution for precision agriculture and environmental monitoring. The system is based on open source hardware and software to allow easy customization and upgrade using familiar tools.

SonanuTech Inc.

Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Sudhee Lakshmana, Postdoctoral Researcher, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

SonanuTech offers a patent-pending RAPD test for phages (viruses) in cheese making. The diagnostic test allows cheese facilities to identify raw materials with phages that lead to dead vats (failed cheese process), slow vats (increased cheese processing time) and affect the quality of cheese, and to take necessary action to change the outcome of the process. The mission: to replace time-consuming and labor-intensive lab tests with a quick-and-easy test for phages that will return a profit for the cheese industry.

White Light Medical

Team Lead: Anvesh Annadanam, Undergraduate, Johns Hopkins University
UC Davis Affiliate: Carli Ciatti, Undergraduate, Animal Science

White Light Medical is a startup medical device company that has developed a low-cost surgical probe, AccuSpine, for the accurate placement of screws in spinal fusion surgeries.


Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate:Carl Jensen, Graduate Student, Institute of Transportation Studies; Business Development Fellow

Zasaka offers a series of agricultural products and services targeted to smallholder farmer customers. Its integrative solutions support farmers in Zambia and Malawi through all growing seasons, increasing agricultural productivity.


Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Andy Wallace, Alumnus

zInspector is a cloud-based photo management and sharing framework developed by property managers for property managers. zInspector’s integrated mobile/web platform automates the photo management process while creating a secure hub of communication between owners, asset managers, renters and service providers.


Team Lead and UC Davis Affiliate: Dr. Harshal Chokhawala, Alumnus

ZymoChem harnesses the power of biotechnology to produce the world’s most-widely used chemicals from renewable sources at lower cost, with greater sustainability and a reduced environmental footprint compared to current petroleum processes.