UNeTech Institute wins $300k prize for innovation and tech development

Rod Markin, MD, PhD, director of the UNeTech Institute

Rod Markin, MD, PhD, director of the UNeTech Institute

The UNeTech Institute is a winner of the 2022 Economic Development Agency’s Build to Scale Competition. UNeTech joins recipients from across the country as part of a $47 million investment to fuel innovation and tech-based development.

The $300,000 award is for the “Omaha Medical Technology Development Alliance” and is a continuation of the 2019 “Omaha Medical Technology Pipeline.” The pipeline leveraged resources throughout the city to build medical technology startups. The newly awarded alliance will serve to better engage with regional, national and international investors, and provide ongoing support to existing and future medical technology startups.

UNeTech is an entrepreneurial support organization and startup incubator affiliated with UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

“UNeTech has shown that you can launch viable startups like Microwash and Impower Health,” said Rodney Markin, MD, PhD, director of the UNeTech Institute, associate vice chancellor for business development and the David T. Purtilo Distinguished Chair of Pathology. “But they cannot thrive without support and capital.”

In supporting startups, the development alliance will expand on UNeTech’s existing collaboration with the UNO College of Business Administration. The Maverick Technology Ventures Alliance “has been game changer for students,” said Brent Clark, professor of business strategy and academic sponsor of the student-led program that provides business strategy analysis reports based on university intellectual property.

“Across UNO and UNMC,” Clark said, “it has provided transformative opportunities for students to learn how tech startups get going, how they craft their strategies and how they eventually get off the ground.”

Jace Gatzemeyer, PhD, UNeTech’s innovation development strategist, crafted the proposal, which seeks to build a more robust investment system in the Omaha area. “UNeTech and its partners have been able do some incredible work advancing medical inventions to the prototype and proof-of-concept phases,” Dr. Gatzemeyer said. “Connecting those startups with committed investors has proven more challenging. This grant from the EDA will support our ongoing work to seek out, learn from and organize local investors, creating a network of folks to whom startups can pitch their innovative new medical technology concepts.”

Joe Runge, JD, associate director of UNeTech, thanked the EDA for the grant and to the university for providing matching funds to support the program. “UNeTech is fortunate to have support from the EDA, UNMC and UNO to continue to grow these important opportunities for students, faculty and startups. With so many great projects lined up, I am just so grateful for the opportunity to keep going.”

6 comments

  1. Howard Gendelman says:

    Congratulations Rod on the work you continue to do. You successes are a credit to our University in so many different ways.

  2. Dr. Howard Liu, Chair Dept Psychiatry, UNMC says:

    We appreciate the outstanding vision to develop intellectual capital to change the world. I know that our psychiatry department has benefited from the outstanding support of Dr Markin, Joe Runge and team. Well done!

  3. John S Davis says:

    Congratulations Rod on the work you do for the UNeTech Institute and UNMC.

  4. Mark Carlson says:

    A well-deserved recognition for UNeTech… Congratulations!

  5. Tom O’Connor says:

    Great work, UNeTech! Kudos to Rod, Joe and others!

  6. Don Leuenberger says:

    Rod, congratulations!

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