4 New Orleans Startups Compete For Cash

Four New Orleans biotech startup companies will compete for an infusion of cash in front of a panel of industry experts and investors later this month. The New Orleans BioInnovation Center, a nonprofit technology business incubator, is holding the competition as part of a larger entrepreneur conference called Innovation Louisiana 2013 on Nov. 18-20.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Four New Orleans biotech startup companies will compete for an infusion of cash in front of a panel of industry experts and investors later this month.

The New Orleans BioInnovation Center, a nonprofit technology business incubator, is holding the competition as part of a larger entrepreneur conference called Innovation Louisiana 2013 on Nov. 18-20.

The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/1iRJLvE) that the competitors' have interests ranging from forensic DNA testing to treatment of a deadly fungal infection.

The companies are identified as MiniVax, Advano, InnoGenomics and TRUE-See Systems.

MiniVax is developing a treatment for Pneumocystis pneumonia, a potentially fatal fungal infection that affects people with weakened immune systems, including people with HIV and AIDS, in chemotherapy or undergoing organ transplants.

Advano specializes in manufacturing and processing advanced materials called nanoparticles, a technology that has applications in bio-imaging, drug delivery and gene therapy.

InnoGenomics Technologies is developing products to make human DNA identification testing faster and more informative for law enforcement, military and intelligence communities, including systems designed to test degraded forensic samples.

TRUE-See Systems, founded by a cinematographer and a wound-care physician, is developing technology for medical care professionals to use standardized digital photographs to treat patients and keep detailed medical records.

The competition will be held Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. The prize is a $25,000 package of cash and services, the BioInnovation Center said.

Judging the competition are Jennifer Hartt of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Joseph F. Lovett of venture capital enterprise Louisiana Fund, Randy Hubbell of Ethicon Biosurgery, Jonathan Miller of Silicon Valley Bank and Clayton White of South Coast Angel Fund.

There were 501 business startups per 100,000 adults in the New Orleans metro area in the three-year period ending in 2012. That is a rate 56 percent higher than the national average, according to an August report by the Greater New Orleans Data Center.

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