On February 20th, 55 companies presented five-minute business plan presentations at the 3rd annual Texas Life Science Venture Forum, hosted by the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, BioHouston and Texas Healthcare and BioScience Institute, at the BioScience Research Collaborative in Houston. Companies specialized in medical technologies and pharma, addressing medical concerns from early-stage detection of cerebral edema to advanced cancer immunotherapies, were present at the forum, where a group of investors and business leaders from around the country served as judges.
California-based start-up Cerebrotech Medical Systems was one of the ten companies chosen by investors and industry experts at the event as the “Rice Alliance Life Science Companies.” Founded in late 2010, Cerebrotech is developing a revolutionary new technology licensed from University of California at Berkeley for non-invasively monitoring victims of stroke and brain trauma, providing early warning and allowing intervention to prevent further brain damage.
Founded in 1999, the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship is the Rice University’s flagship initiative devoted to the support of entrepreneurship. With a mission to provide entrepreneurship education and to support the commercialization of technology innovations and the creation of new companies in the Texas and Houston region, the Rice Alliance has assisted in the launch of over 225 new technology companies, which have raised more than $350 million in early stage funding.
“We are honored that our company has been recognized by the Rice Alliance,” said Mitch Levinson, Co-Founder and CEO of Cerebrotech. “Dr. Boris Rubinsky and his team of researchers at University of California at Berkeley invented a powerful technology, and our engineers are working hard to give victims of stroke, brain trauma and other brain conditions a brighter tomorrow.”
According to Mr. Levinson, there are no other devices which can detect the early stages of brain bleeding or swelling. As a result, many patients develop serious “secondary brain injury” because the interventions are too late. Cerebrotech hopes to change the standard of care for stroke and brain trauma patients, improve patient outcomes and reduce hospital costs with a cost-effective, non-invasive monitoring device.
“Every year the quality of companies improves,” said Rice Alliance Managing Director Brad Burke, who announced the winners at the event. “This year we had a diversity of companies, including rapid, in-office diagnosis of ENT illnesses to a catheter-based, minimally-invasive heart pump for the treatment of chronic heart failure. As a group, the companies this year are further along which makes them more appealing to current investors, who have commented on the improved quality of the companies.”
This forum is the largest life science venture capital conference in the Southwest, and featured more than 70 industry and investment speakers. Among the more than 600 attendees were venture capitalists and other investors, entrepreneurs, industry representatives, business leaders and service providers.