TB Detection Company Wins Berkeley B-Plan Contest

A company that has developed a device to make tuberculosis detection more accurate and affordable took first place from among a tight field of eight finalists at the 11th annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition on April 30.

AutoTB was awarded $25,000 before a standing-room-only crowd of more than 300 in Arthur Andersen Auditorium. The competition, organized by the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, has become the premier entrepreneurship event for the wider Berkeley community and attracted more than 100 entries this year, setting a new record for participation.

Winners receive not only seed financing for their ventures, but also the chance to present their ideas to the high-caliber venture capitalists who serve as judges.

The $10,000 second-place prize went to Novophage, which plans to commercialize a biological solution to treat antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in a clinical setting. Third place and the People’s Choice Award — voted on by the audience — went to Integrated Diagnostics. The company is developing a device that will bring early-stage HIV detection from the laboratory to the palm of the hand. The combined awards earned the team $10,000.

Judges noted that this year’s entries included a wider range of companies in medical technology, energy, and information technology than in past years.

The winning team will travel to Spain next month to compete in an entrepreneurship competition that is part of the HIT Barcelona World Innovation Summit (http://www.hitbarcelona.com/). The grand prize is 50,000 euros. All participants also are offered support to open European offices in Barcelona, with one year of free rent. The trip is the result of a relationship between the Lester Center and Josep Miquel Pique, CEO of the 22@Barcelona urban transformation project.

For more information, visit: bplan.berkeley.edu.