2020 Big Idea Competition Winners Announced, X-Nerve Takes Home the $100K Prize

Mark Cuban closed out the day with a keynote speech before the winners were announced. You can find what he said, along with this year's winners, here.

“When you see an opportunity, if you then realize that if you put in the work you can fulfill that opportunity and turn it into a company, amazing things can happen,” serial entrepreneur, Dallas Mavericks owner, and Shark Tank ‘Shark’ Cuban said during the 2020 Big Idea Competition’s keynote speech. 

This year, the University of Texas at Dallas joined the Texas Startups Roadshow for the Big Idea Competition (BIC), an annual event that draws over 1,000 attendees each year with more than $200,000 given to the competition’s winners through prize money and scholarships. The BIC has quickly become one of North Texas’ largest university startup competitions since its launch in 2007.

Although this year’s event has gone virtual, that didn’t stop hundreds of people from showing up online to support the BIC finalists. The finalists competed in the Student Pitch Track, Alumni Pitch Track, UT Southwestern Biotech+ Track, and the inaugural Research Commercialization Pitch Track.

Before this year’s BIC winners were announced, Mark Cuban gave attendees advice on entrepreneurship during his keynote speech. 

He shared a story on when he worked at a software store in Oak Lawn and his boss ended up firing him after closing his biggest deal. Cuban realized he needed to start selling directly to companies instead of companies going to him.

From that, he learned: “If you have any entrepreneurial desires at all, once you make the effort to learn, once you make the effort to keep up and you keep on pushing forward with that knowledge, and you start exposing yourself to different businesses and different opportunities, that entrepreneur in you can come out,” Cuban said.

For this year’s BIC finalists, they have already found the entrepreneurs inside of themselves, as shown through the event’s presentations, but only four teams won the grand prize.

This year’s Big Idea Competition winners were:

Glaucomedi presentation [BIC Screenshot]

Student Pitch Track

Glaucomedi is the grand prize winner and will receive:

  • $25,000 cash
  • $10,000 in AWS Credits
  • Promotional Credit valid for 2 years
  • 1 year of Business Support (up to $1,500)
  • Opportunities to Qualify for Additional Credits
  • Explainer Video Marketing Package from Zelaya Productions (valued at $7,000 in video production services)

Alumni Pitch Track

Lazarus 3D is the grand prize winner and will receive:

  • $25,000 cash
  • $10,000 in AWS Credits
  • Promotional Credit valid for 2 years
  • 1 year of Business Support (up to $1,500)
  • Opportunities to Qualify for Additional Credits
  • Explainer Video Marketing Package from Zelaya Productions (valued at $7,000 in video production services)

 

Dr. Vinod Mootha’s presentation [BIC Screenshot]

UT Southwestern Biotech+ Track

Dr. Vinod Mootha, “Oligonucleotide Therapeutic for Fuchs’ Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy,” is the grand prize winner and will receive:

  • $50,000 cash grant to advance their research
  • Intellectual Property guidance from UT Southwestern
  • External IP counsel
  • Opportunities to Qualify for Additional Credits
  • Business Support Services
  • Explainer Video Marketing Package from Zelaya Productions (valued at $7,000 in video production services)

 

Dr. Yang Xie’s presentation [BIC Screenshot]

Dr. Yang Xie, HD Staining “An artificial intelligence model for digital staining of pathology images to characterize tumor microenvironment and predict patient clinical outcomes,” is the second place awardee and will receive:

  • $12,500 cash grant to advance their research
  • Intellectual Property guidance from UT Southwestern
  • External IP counsel
  • Opportunities to Qualify for Additional Credits
  • Business Support Services

 

X-Nerve’s presentation [BIC Screenshot]

Research Commercialization Pitch Track

X-Nerve is the grand prize winner and will receive:

  • $100,000 cash
  • $10,000 in AWS CreditsPromotional Credit valid for 2 years
  • 1 year of Business Support (up to $1,500)
  • Opportunities to Qualify for Additional Credits
  • Explainer Video Marketing Package from Zelaya Productions (valued at $7,000 in video production services)

 

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