A chemical technique that could ease targeting of diseased cells in pharmaceutical drug delivery isn’t quite ready yet for the market, but still holds promise if research continues. That’s the judgment of a team of MBAs and their informal technology commercialization board—the 135 industry representatives judging the Ford MBA Technology Transfer Challenge.

First-year MBA candidates Matt Hancock, Samuel Kerns, Janet Marcantonio, Brock Roark and Scott Schun took first prize, winning $3,000, in the 5th annual challenge, sponsored by Mays’ Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship.

The challenge is a required part of the curriculum for all first-year MBAs. Students have a week to assess a new technology, identify markets for it and determine its potential commercial viability. They must then make a “go” or “no go” decision on the technology and defend their decision to potential business and venture capital investors.

The challenge is underwritten by Ford Motor Company. CRA International provided the $3,000 grand prize; Ozona Grill & Bar-Ford Restaurant Group sponsored the second-place, $2,000 award; and Hewlett Packard sponsored the third-place prize of $1,000.

Other winning teams include:
Second place: Design of a Portable Buoyancy Driven PCR Thermocycler, presented by Tanya Arora, Olubanke “Banke” Awofeso, Aritada “Pam” Changchit, Rachana Chidanand and Jennifer Hoffpauir

Third place: Radio-Frequency Encoding (RFE) Probes for Magnetic Resonance Imaging, presented by Todd Johnson, Jesse Durden, Sean Green, Samuel Kirk and Leandro Salgado.