UPDATE: April 28, 2016 – “Engage,” founded by Brandenstein and Willard, wins $15,000 in WSU Business Plan Competition
Two Washington State University bioengineering students won first place and $10,000 in the inaugural, regional Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) at the University of Washington on March 3. They were the only non-UW affiliated entrepreneurs among the 18 finalist teams that pitched ideas to more than 100 judges from business and health science professions.
Emily Willard of Everett, Wash., and Katherine Brandenstein of Woodinville, Wash., are cofounders of Engage and won with the prototype for their product SafeShot. It is a lid that attaches to a multi-use medicine injection vial to sterilize the needle each time it enters the vial.
In the developing world, needle reuse is not uncommon. SafeShot’s sterilizing liquid stops the spread of contaminates such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
“This award will help us do further research on how SafeShot can become a standard in the vaccine market,” said Willard.