ClearBrook Imaging is a specialty, development-stage, medical device company whose primary focus is developing its intravascular photoacoustic cardiac catheterization imaging technology, which addresses the shortcomings of existing modalities in the cardiac catheterization industry. ClearBrook’s Intravascular Photoacoustic (IVPA) catheter is a revolutionary imaging technology capable of providing interventional cardiologists with the necessary information they need to properly diagnose atherosclerosis and plaque vulnerability.
ClearBrook Imaging was the winner of the 2011 NVC competition and took home $25,000 in seed capital.
We recently got in touch with ClearBrook co-founder Ryan Miller to gain some insight as to what his team found valuable from last years NVC competition.
“The level of competition from around the globe was significantly higher than we had experienced in our first competition.”
ClearBrook had just been runner-up in the Texas Venture Labs Investment Competition prior to competing in the 2011 NVC competition.
“I think it was a perfect competition. I can’t think of a thing I would change about it. The people there were kind, the Portland scene was fantastic, the companies there were all smart and fun, and everyone was very professional and exercised good sportsmanship.”
“The general culture of the competition was hugely appealing to David and I. It seemed like an optimal combination of intense competition with the ability to still have fun”
ClearBrook is currently working to finalize what they believe to be the optimal acoustic frequency for cardiovascular imaging through combined acoustics and optics. Although they are currently working to resolve some minor licensing issues, they believe the experience at NVC gave them the confidence they needed to take their venture to the next level.
“Winning last year’s NVC competition gave us a lot of confidence to move forward with the technology that we previously were very unsure about”
Look out for ClearBrook Imaging in the year to come, as their technology may just revolutionize the medical world.
KarmaGoat is a new web platform on Facebook. It is a combination of traditional e-commerce applications (such as eBay, or Amazon) and charitable fundraising applications designed specifically for Facebook users. In other words, it’s an adaptation of the Goodwill business model for the social media generation.
KarmaGoat’s online marketplace allows users to transform personal items into money for charity. Users buy and sell items within their social network or neighborhood, as on Craigslist, and 85% of every transaction goes to the seller’s chosen nonprofit.
We recently got in touch with James Voytko, KarmaGoat’s CFO and COO to gain some insight on what his team’s experience was like at the 2011 NVC competition.
“We competed in several business competitions, and the feedback at the NVC was outstanding. Judges were able to give great advice on both your business concept and how to best pitch it to potential investors.”
“Great environment at the competition. Event was really well organized and run.”
In addition to its local peer-to-peer marketplace, KarmaGoat will be expanding its service to centralize collections and sell goods nationally. Los Angeles-based nonprofit partners, like the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the Starlight Children’s Foundation, will source in-kind donations from supporters and corporate partners for collection by KarmaGoat. KarmaGoat will aggregate these donations, then sell and ship these items on their website.
KarmaGoat won $500 for taking 2nd place in the Elevator Pitch competition at the 2011 NVC competition.
Fork In The Road Market (FITR) is a community-driven mobile grocery delivery service focused on bringing fresh, healthy, and affordable meals to communities in need. The concept started as a class project during a founding member’s MBA program at Portland State University, but soon found itself as the cornerstone for a working business venture. FITR addresses the problem of food access and growing number of food deserts in our communities.
FITR brought their venture to the 2011 NVC competition, and experienced first hand the benefits of competing on the NVC platform. The team won valuable prize money, but more importantly learned first hand from the judges and professionals what their venture needed to become a success.
We caught up with founding member Amelia Pape to see how their venture has grown, and what part NVC has played in their development.
“Participating in a venture competition with a business plan that was within the retail grocery industry, which traditionally has very low margins, proved to us that our concept was real and that we were onto something big.”
“Going on to win the Best Business Plan, along with the OEN Lightning round energized us, and created the momentum that we needed to move us to the next level.”
Shortly after the 2011 NVC competition the team all graduated from Portland State University with MBAs, and launched successful pilot programs in Portland. The team used their winnings from NVC to help fund these initial pilot programs, and cover administration costs.
“The feeling of accomplishment and pride after our judging panel was great. The exceptional feedback and personalized advice and insights from the judges were more than we had expected.”
Like the fresh food they deliver, FITR continues to grow and has hopes of micro-franchising their mobile markets across the country.
Cuddle Clones specializes in designing and producing custom plush versions of people’s pets. At first glance this may just seem like simply a cute and novel idea for a retail business. The plush animals certainly are cute, but this venture is as unique as the products they make. With the majority of toy manufacturers requiring large minimum orders, there is currently no one specializing in crafting one of a kind plush animals for pet owners. Cuddle Clones seeks to fill this void by offering animal lovers an affordable and personal version of their furry family members.
We recently got in touch with “Chief Cloning Officer” Jennifer Graham to find out how things have been shaping up since last year’s NVC competition.
“At the NVC last year, we did not yet have any great prototypes. Since then we have created a number of wonderful prototypes and have overcome a steep learning curve.”
“We want to make sure our product is absolutely right and make sure that we are ready to handle our order volume before we go to market. We have several different prototypes in production, including dogs and cats. We even have a request for a cuddly clone of a pet chicken!”
Everyone’s pet is unique, but stuffed animals are mass produced and therefore lack the unique qualities and features of their pets. Cuddle Clones proved this to the judges at NVC, which validated their venture even further, and received the feedback they needed to move forward.
“We understand that people are going to be very picky, especially since we’re dealing with members of their families. We have to strike a balance between accuracy, cuteness, and cost-effectiveness.”
The team just missed out on being a 2011 finalist, but they used their energy & insight from the competition to propel them to success in their home state of Kentucky.
University of Oregon
Mosaic Genetics is a Eugene, Oregon based LLC and was formed in January of 2010 to commercialize transgenic mouse technology that was developed in the lab of Dr. Hui Zong at the University of Oregon. Based in part on support from the Zong lab and the Univeristy of Oregon Lundquist Center for Entrepeneurship, Mosaic Genetics™ was created to bring this exciting new model, dubbed “the LumiMouse™,” to market for cancer research and anti-cancer drug discovery.
Brigham Young University
After being crowned winner of the NVC 2009, KT Tape has rapidly expanded. The water resistant therapeutic athletic tape, which provides muscle pain relief, increased mobility, and enhance recovery, can now be found in over 1,100 retail outlets worldwide. Their tape can be found in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Since the New Venture Championships, KT Tape has more than doubled in size, with employees based in China, Iowa, Utah, and North Carolina.