Saturday , September 30 2023
Student teams win top prize at entrepreneurial startup competition

Student teams win top prize at entrepreneurial startup competition

Two student teams from the School of Entrepreneurship from the Jack H. Brown College of Business and Public Administration at the California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) placed first in the Product Track 1 and Product Track 2 categories at the Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition hosted by the San Jose State University. Each team received $25,000 in prize money.

Team AxoTech, led by Lizette Velasquez and Gustavo Cruz is developing an innovative Handheld Chemical Sensor company that specializes in the development and deployment of advanced AI and Machine Learning technologies to address the growing concerns around hazardous substances, particularly Fentanyl. This commitment arises from the ongoing fentanyl crisis, which presents challenges in drug trafficking due to the inadequacy of current detection technologies. The current technologies are often bulky, time-consuming, and struggle to achieve accurate results amidst the presence of various chemical compounds. By partnering with US Navy Corona division’s advanced measurement technology, AxoTech aims to produce portable and user-friendly devices that offer exceptional accuracy in detecting fentanyl and other chemicals.

“Like many entrepreneurship journeys, my student experience in the program has been a roller coaster but with huge success and learning experiences,” said Gustavo Cruz. “In my time being a graduate student at the School of Entrepreneurship, particularly in the tech transfer class and its fellowship program, I’ve learned so much about becoming an entrepreneur, from networking with top individuals in their fields to developing ideas and forming meetings to connect with experienced professionals. The Sunstone competition was a cherry on top and made a huge impact in not only getting our business AxoTech out there but sharing the experience with our students! It was an amazing feeling working together with undergraduate and graduate students to experience this competition journey! We are ecstatic to also come in 1st place for CSUSB!!”

The second team, Solubrin, led by Edward E. Timmons IV, partnered with Loma Linda Medical University on a new type of blood coagulation test. This new test will quickly identify blood clots and improve patient outcomes. Currently, there lacks a test on the market that can determine if clotting has been activated within someone, and to what extent.

“I see this as a pivotal point for CSUSB’s School of Entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurship Program has been around for over 20+ years and this is the first time that CSUSB participated in a CSU systemwide Student Pitch competition with two projects that were founded as spin off student ventures from the Technology Commercialization Class in the Masters of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program,” said Ed Timmons IV. “There is so much technology that lives and dies in the lab and our lives could be exponentially better if we could bring some of these technologies to market. To do that – takes a commercialization team, which is exactly what our focus is with the Masters of Science in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.”

“Congratulations to the student teams,” said Anna Long, Assistant Professor at the School of Entrepreneurship and the instructor for the Technology Commercialization class. “They all worked developing their products and companies in the past year, and preparing for the competition. We are very proud of their success and look forward to great things from these entrepreneurs.”

The Sunstone CSU Startup Launch Competition offers student entrepreneurs and teams the opportunity to pitch their startup in competition for the largest prize pool specifically for collegiate founded ventures among California State University (CSU) campuses and beyond.

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