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Northwestern Medical Start-Up Wins 2012 TechWeek Launch Competition

Briteseed members (from left to right) Mayank Vijayvergia (McCormick), Jonathan Gunn (Law School), Paul Fehrenbacher (Feinberg School of Medicine), and Muneeb Bokhari, JD (Law School) BriteSeed, a start-up developed by students in Northwestern University’s NUvention: Medical Innovation course, won first place in the 2012 TechWeek Launch competition, walking away with more than $100,000 in cash and prizes.

Part of the five-day technology conference held June 22 to 26 at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, TechWeek Launch brought together 35 progressive start-ups to compete by demoing their products and services.

BriteSeed introduced their product SafeSnips, technology that can be integrated into surgical tools to detect blood vessels during surgery and prevent unintended bleeding. The device was created during the 2011-12 academic year by a team of four students representing three Northwestern schools: Mayank Vijayvergia (McCormick School of Engineering), Paul Fehrenbacher (Feinberg School of Medicine), Muneeb Bokhari (Law School), and Jonathan Gunn (Law School).

The team made it to the final five and competed Monday before a panel of judges, presenting pitches and taking part in a Q&A session on the main stage of the conference.

BriteSeed won a range of prizes, including Microsoft software and hardware products; payroll, benefit, and risk management administration from Tandem HR; business consulting from RNF Technologies; legal services and consultation from Polsinelli Shughart; IT planning, design services, and development from Adalyze Technologies; and Coca Cola products.

Northwestern’s three NUvention courses – Nuvention: Medical Innovation, NUvention: Web, and NUvention: Energy – brings together students from across the University to form businesses and solve a problem. The courses are offered through the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

"NUvention provided us with a supportive framework and the interdisciplinary collaboration necessary to build a successful business out of a refined, need-based solution," said Vijayvergia, a master's student in biomedical engineering.

Read a Chicago Tribune article about BriteSeed’s win at TechWeek Launch.