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April 17, 2013

Northwestern entrepreneurs bring home the gold!

by Dan Rodriguez

To:       Northwestern Law Community

From:  Thomas F. Geraghty, Associate Dean and Director, Bluhm Legal Clinic


Northwestern teams, coached by Esther Barron, Director of the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Entrepreneurship Law Center, stole the show at the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition, which is self-described as the world’s richest and largest business plan competition.  SiNode and BriteSeed won 1st and 2nd place and also each received several other awards and cash prizes.  SiNode won $811,000 and BriteSeed won $238,000 in investments and awards. Two of BriteSeed’s four co-founders have ties to the Law School.

BriteSeed has developed a technology that detects blood vessels during surgeries which helps surgeons avoid making dangerous cuts.   The BriteSeed team exemplifies Northwestern’s interdisciplinary approach to entrepreneurship education.  Jonathan Gunn (class of ’13) studied patent and entrepreneurship law and also holds a doctorate in biomaterials and nanotechnology. Jonathan has published over 15 peer-reviewed articles and performed research in nanopartible-based imaging and wound-healing applications. Muneeb Bokhari (class of ’12) is an associate at Foley & Lardner. Before joining Northwestern Law, Muneeb worked in the technology industry for ten years, where he gained experience with several early stage startups as well as large multi-national firms. Fellow co-founder, Paul Fehrenbacher is a fourth-year medical student at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Before helping to establish BriteSeed, Paul served as Director of Pre-clinical Evaluation and Guidance at Wildcat Venture Management, a Chicago-based biotech company. Lastly, Mayank Vijayvergia is a masters student in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern, where he has performed research in magnetic resonance elastography for non-invasive diagnoses of varying diseases.   Esther Barron, Director of the Northwestern Entrepreneurship Law Center, proudly served as the team’s faculty advisor.

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