Rajesh Menon

Media Contacts

Vincent Horiuchi

Public Relations Associate, University of Utah College of Engineering
Email: vincent.horiuchi@utah.edu
Phone: 801- 585-7499

Mar 22, 2017 10:54 AM

After six months of research, problem-solving and light-bulb moments of inspiration, the innovations are ready to be unveiled. On Monday, more than 35 teams of University of Utah students participating in the annual Bench-to-Bedside competition will showcase inventions, devices and apps that they hope will improve medicine. The event is set for Monday, April 3, 6-9 p.m. at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda, 350 N. State Street. Nearly $80,000 in prize money, including a $15,000-grand prize, will be awarded Monday night.

Now in its eighth year, the B2B program is designed to introduce medical students, engineering students and business students to the world of medical device innovation. Student teams form interdisciplinary “startup” companies and are given the task of identifying an unmet clinical need.

"I am always amazed by the tremendous creativity and impact of our student-innovators,” said John Langell, MD, PhD, MBA, MPH, executive director of the University of Utah Center for Medical Innovation. “Every year, our students come together to solve some of the biggest problems in health care in ways we never thought possible. The program unleashes the capabilities of diverse teams of student-entrepreneurs and empowers them to turn their ideas into real technologies that have the potential to transform the way health care is delivered.”

This year’s teams tackled problems associated with knee-joint recovery, eye surgery, hand hygiene, kidney failure, cervical cancer, teeth-grinding, and respiratory issues in infants — to name a few.

“Competition night is the most exciting day of the year,” said B2B Student Director Jacob Whittle, who picked the U for medical school in large part because of the program. “It’s exciting to see the other projects, and it’s a great opportunity for us to show what we’ve innovated and hopefully attract interest from investors who may be there or from interested clinicians.” 

Engineering Co-President and B2B veteran Kapil Sharma described past B2B competition nights as “euphoric.”

“We spent months brainstorming about this problem, and then months trying to create a proper solution that addresses it,” Sharma said. " It takes a lot of hard work outside of school, and it all culminates Monday night.”


Teams have six months and a $500 development fund to create medical device concepts. Throughout the six-month time frame, students evaluate the intellectual property landscape, make a prototype for their product, and construct a business plan. Teams have the opportunity to connect with University of Utah physicians and other business people from a broad range of specialties to serve as their consultants, opinion leaders and stakeholders. The program culminates at Monday night’s competition. The team projects are evaluated and scored for business strategy, design quality and health-care impact.

To learn more about the program or the event, please contact Natalie Dicou at 801-587-1374 or 801-592-3769 or email Natalie.dicou@hsc.utah.edu

 Read about the B2B 2017 winners here (published April 4, 2017).