Argonne Start Up Wins Awards and Opportunities
Argonne’s SiteDiagnostics company, the brainchild of Dan Schabacker, Aeraj ul Haque and their team, was announced as one of the winners of the Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) award and has been accepted into the University of Chicago’s Polsky Center Summer Accelerator Program.
Launched in 1996, the New Venture Challenge is one of the nation's premier business competitions, allowing students to act upon their entrepreneurial ideas within a supportive and highly rewarding environment.
Using the NVC award, Argonne will launch a veterinary diagnostics company called SiteDiagnostics that will use Argonne’s patented geldrop technology to develop rapid point-of-care visual diagnostic tools for on-site animal disease diagnosis.
SiteDiagnostic’s first product is called BMSiteTest and is targeted towards detection of the pathogens that cause bovine mastitis--a disease of dairy cow udders. Annual global losses due to mastitis are estimated at $10 billion, with U.S. losses close to $2 billion. Using BMSiteTest, a farmer will be able to diagnose mastitis at an early stage and administer the appropriate treatment and management regimen quickly, saving a considerable amount of money.
Through NVC, Argonne made the desired connections with the angel investor and venture capital community to provide the initial capital needed to move ahead with SiteDiagnostics.
And as part of the University of Chicago’s summer accelerator program for entrepreneurs, Argonne will receive an additional $10,000 in support, office space for summer 2012, and networking opportunities. The award serves as a “certificate of authenticity,” making SiteDiagnostics and its products more appealing to investors and providing much needed publicity.
SiteDiagnostics is also receiving support from the University of Illinois’ Illinois Launch Program, a new venture accelerator program in the College of Business at the University of Illinois. Illinois Launch helps entrepreneurs develop their ideas into high-growth, sustainable businesses. The program provides startups with access to curriculum, mentors, community, and an enormous network of alumni, investors, and successful entrepreneurs.