While at The University of Texas at Austin in 2011, chemistry grad student Justin Dragna (now PhD) led a team with engineering students Vik Parthiban, Zi-on Cheung, and myself to generate a technology-centered business plan for the Idea2Product competition there. The plan was for the proposed business ChiraScreen, which is based on his graduate research lab's work in detecting molecular chirality. The image representing this project represents a simplified explanation of how the product works: a special molecule can be placed into a batch of chemicals with both left-handed and right-handed molecules, and it will react only to molecules of one type of handedness. This would let, for example, pharmaceutical companies discover purer mixes of a chemical much faster than pre-2011.
I focused on investigating the market and competition for such a business and making the pitch deck. Along the way I learned more about what goes into business plans, and what might convince investors that you know what you're doing.
Oh, and we won first place. Woohoo! Justin and Zi-on did the final pitch, and you can see it, linked below, if you have the right browser plugins.
- Webpage for the 2011 Idea2Product Competition
- Video of the I2P ChiraScreen presentation. It requires a browser with WindowsMedia or Silverlight plugins to play.
- Wikipedia entry for "chirality"