Entrepreneurship Award

We believe Aptapaper has the potential to be a real, life saving product. To help facilitate our bench to bedside process, our team entered Aptapaper in the OptiMize Social Innovation Challenge and won $5000 to continue our research and development along with $6000 in stipends to work on the project over the summer and receive entrepreneurial training. OptiMize is a year long social entrepreneurship competition where teams receive training in critical entrepreneurial skills, as well as network and develop contacts in the business world to help facilitate making their ideas into reality. Our team took OptiMize's mantra, "Why not me?" to heart, working tirelessly to perform market research, consult attorneys about IP protection options, and consult with succesful entrepreneurs on how to make Aptapaper a reality. We developed an especially close relationship with one such entrepreneur, Grace Hsia (CEO of Warmilu LLC). Among other things, Grace was able to offer us valuable advice about traversing the difficult path of getting a healthcare related device approved for use. We also sent a representative to MCON, a conference in Washington, DC for millennial social entrepreneurs and innovators to network. Closer to home, we attended Ann Arbor Health Hacks, and were able to get valuable feedback from various local health experts. We plan to continue developing Aptapaper and, once finished, hope to license it to a biotechnology company to bring the product to the market, then partner with non-governmental organizations to help distribute Aptapaper and begin helping tuberculosis patients around the world.