2004-2005

On March 26th, the Duke Start-Up Challenge will hold its sixth annual Challenge Awards Ceremony, the final event of a multi-stage competition featuring a $50,000 prize to the top winning company.  The six start-ups, created by students from across Duke University, gave a final presentation to the audience of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and interested business people prior to the award ceremony. 

Keynote Speaker Dr. Dani Bolognesi discussed his lessons learned in founding and building Trimeris into one of the most successful spinouts from Duke. Trimeris is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of new drugs for the treatment of viral diseases. The ceremony was held at 4:00PM in Geneen Auditorium at the Fuqua School of Business.

The following six teams emerged as the 2005 Duke Start-Up Challenge Finalists:

  • HMDisplay is developing a high image quality and low cost head mounted display system.
  • Humacyte is a vascular tissue engineering company pioneering the production of replacement blood vessels on demand from a patient’s own cells.
  • LAT-Co has developed a lifting device that supplements powered wheelchairs to enable users to be lifted into their seats without needing outside assistance.
  • Nanocell Technology designs and develops high-density and low-cost semiconductor Flash memory chips used in portable electronic systems.
  • Safmed develops and manufactures wireless radiation safety networks and related equipment for use in hospitals and research facilities.
  • SecureSilicon has developed a solution to combat software piracy and leverages its technology to create a value-added distribution service for small- to medium-sized software manufacturers and video-game developers.
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On March 26, the Duke Start-Up Challenge held its sixth annual challenge awards ceremony, the final event of a multi-stage competition featuring a $50,000 prize to the top winning company. The six start-ups, created by students from across
Duke University, gave their final presentation to the audience of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and interested business people prior to the award ceremony.

The following teams emerged victorious in the competition:
  • Nanocell Technology emerged victorious as the grand prize winner for the Start-up Challenge. Fuqua student Nikhil Dhongade ’06 and Frank Shi comprised the team for Nanocell Technology, Inc. (NTI). Their company designs and develops high-density and low-cost semiconductor Flash memory chips used in explosively growing portable electronic systems, such as cellular phones, PDAs, mobile PCs, digital cameras, etc. The company’s proprietary innovations will offer the products with multiple unique features and technological advantages over the current market vendors. NTI’s technologies and products will revolutionize the cost and performance of the silicon Flash memory devices.
  • HMdisplay, Inc. was the second place winner with Class of 2006 members Scott Dieckhaus and Todd Schwarzinger, along with Lauren Matic, Chongchang Mao, Lianhua Ji and Sangrok Lee. HMdisplay specializes in the design and development of proprietary technologies and production-ready solutions for the next-generation visual display technology. HMdisplay seeks to design, prototype and outsource the manufacturing, on a timely and cost-effective basis, of a distinctive, high-quality display device in order to overcome the limitations of traditional displays. Combining unique imaging expertise and superior intellectual property, HMdisplay has developed an innovative liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) visor with enhanced brightness and high contrast ratio at a fraction of the cost of current models available in the market place.
  • The third place winner was SecureSilicon. The team consisted of Class of 2005 members Eric Lange and Pali Bhat. SecureSilicon solves the problem of software piracy and leverages its solution to create a value-added distribution service for software manufacturers. SecureSilicon’s method of software encryption and control will allow software distributors to establish an online store for software, control and monitor who uses software purchased online and regulate the level or length of time for which the software is used.


Organizing Committee Contacts

President: Matt Lunn 

Operations - Mike Pisetsky 

Educational Events - Abram Becker 

Mentoring – Khalil Tribie 

Team Coordination - Alex Erlikh 

Marketing - Mike Lin 

Communications - Thomas Simotas 

School Coordinators

Fuqua School of Business - Thomas Simotas 

Law School - Samantha Ferris

Medical School - Anne-Caroline Norman 

Nicholas School of the Environment - Sarah Daniels 

Pratt School of Engineering – Laura Castaing and Mark Rice 

Trinity School of Arts and Sciences - Chivon Henry

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Howie Rhee,
Nov 10, 2009, 3:16 AM
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