ChondroPro Biosciences Wins People’s Choice Award with a Therapeutic Technology to Treat Osteoarthritis
PHILADELPHIA, Pa.–The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced that student team RightCare Solutions won the $30,000 Michelson Grand Prize of the 2012 Wharton Business Plan Competition (BPC) (http://bpc.wharton.upenn.edu). The prize was awarded at the Wharton School’s annual Venture Finals on April 25, 2012, where student finalists received more than $115,000 in combined cash prizes, in-kind legal/accounting services, and office space at a Philadelphia co-working community for start-ups.
RightCare Solutions is an evidence-based decision tool to identify, during the admissions process, what patients are at high-risk for readmission. Eric Heil, Matt Tanzer and Mrinal Bhasker, all second year MBA students, explained that RightCare Solutions addresses the $30 billion U.S. health care issue of patients needing to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge. It gives caregivers the opportunity to focus on these high-need patients and coordinate care during a patient’s hospital stay, so the most appropriate post-acute care is ready to go post-discharge.
The underlying intellectual property is based on ten years of research by Dr. Kathryn H. Bowles, Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. A successful first case study has been completed at a major hospital and the data has shown a significant reduction in 30-day readmissions when RightCare Solutions was used.
The RightCare Solutions team is comprised of three classmates from the Wharton MBA Program for Executives in Philadelphia and is the first Executive MBA team to take the top prize in the Wharton Business Plan Competition. The team also boasts numerous degrees from Penn; Heil received his bachelor’s degree from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2005, while Tanzer received a bachelor’s degree from The Wharton School in 2002.
RightCare Solutions is part of the UpStart program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Technology Transfer, which works to commercialize Penn technologies and intellectual property developed by Penn faculty, staff and students by assisting with company formation and continuing to work with companies through the commercialization process. RightCare Solutions has also been selected as one of three finalists for the Jenssen Connected Care Challenge, which includes receiving a $50,000 award.
The Venture Finals, which is the year-long Wharton BPC’s culminating event, attracted nearly 300 venture capitalists, business leaders, faculty members and students. This year the competition had a record-setting 152 venture concepts submitted for the competitive phase of the competition. While the Venture Finals judges deliberated the top three prizes, the “Great Eight’ Finalist teams competed for the People’s Choice Award, which allowed the audience of hundreds to vote on their favorite elevator pitch. The crowd favorite was ChondroPro Biosciences, who walked away with the $3,000 prize.
New in 2012, was the first-of-its-kind Student Choice Award, which was determined at a Battle of the Business Plans, one week prior to the Venture Finals. Representatives of the Great Eight and the Semi-Finalists had 5 minutes to sell their classmates on their business ventures. The winner, as voted on by the more than 200 students in attendance, was QMagico, who won $3,000 for their efforts.
An additional award granted at the Venture Finals was the $1,000 Committee’s Choice Awards, determined by the student management committee of the Wharton BPC. From the semi-finalist submissions the committee awarded its prize to accessMD – the team they think has the greatest likelihood of generating substantial impact by addressing, and subsequently disrupting, a pressing social issue.
The 2012 Wharton Business Plan Competition winners are:
- Michelson Grand Prize: $30,000 to RightCare Solutions
- Second Prize: $15,000 to 1Doc Way
- Third Prize: $10,000 to Calcula
- Gloeckner Undergraduate Award: $10,000 for the highest ranking Wharton undergraduate team to Invisergy
- People’s Choice Award: $3,000 to ChondroPro Biosciences
- Student’s Choice Award: $3,000 to QMagico
- Committee Award: $1,000 to accessMD
Over the years, the Wharton Business Plan Competition, which is open to any University of Pennsylvania student and managed by Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, has seen numerous student teams go on to become successful businesses. Last year’s Michelson Grand Prize Winner, Stylitics, launched in private beta in November 2011 and was a “The Next Big Thing in Tech” nominee for the Fashion 2.0 Awards and has recently been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and on Oprah.com. The 2011 3rd prize winner, baby.com.br, was named a top 10 start-up in Brazil by Business Insider and Webholic, sold its millionth diaper, and is the largest e-commerce retailer in the baby space in Brazil. A notable semi-finalist from the 2009 competition is Warby Parker, which continues to disrupt the eyeglass industry with their one-price, online only, fashionable eye glass brand.
About the Wharton School and Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs
In 1973, The Wharton School became the first school to develop a fully integrated curriculum of entrepreneurial studies. Today Wharton, through Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs (www.wep.wharton.upenn.edu), supports and seeds innovation and entrepreneurship globally through teaching, research and outreach to a range of organizations through its many programs, initiatives and research centers. At the same time, Wharton students and alumni are helping to build entrepreneurial enterprises around the world and impacting virtually every industry.
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania — founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school — is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The School has 5,000 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; more than 9,000 annual participants in executive education programs; and an alumni network of 88,000 graduates. For more information on the Wharton Business Plan Competition, go to: http://bpc.wharton.upenn.edu.