And the Grand Prize winner is….drum roll please! (everyone in the TCC Ballroom at the October 16th IdeaFunding Startup Showcase tapped on their tables)… NanoCheQ!
The two matching-outfitted Nitish Peela, CEO/Founder and Minh Pham, CSO/Co-Founder, of NanoCheQ appeared out from the back-stage curtains. Their pitch was compelling and well practiced, and more importantly their product was surely a game-changer.
NanoCheQ created a novel microbial diagnostic kit that rapidly identifies bacteria type, and provides instructions on how to eliminate contamination that can be used for food or beverages. To a Tucson audience full of micro-brewery aficionados this was compelling news to say the least, certainly compelling enough for Sierra Nevada, their first major client. The possibilities are endless and in today’s world where salmonella outbreaks are nearly weekly, we think NanoCheQ has a bright future.
[The fine print: NanocheQ is on a mission to make safe, quality food accessible to everybody. In the pursuit of this goal, they’ve developed a novel platform technology, which uses aptamer-conjugated gold nanoparticles (Apt-AuNPs) that can rapidly detect and identify bacteria. Couple this technology with fluorescent analysis and machine learning, this tool can sense small molecules and proteins at the nano-scale. Due to these technological advancements, our product is faster, more versatile, and easier to use than any bacterial diagnostic on the market.] The NanocheQ MicIDᵀᴹ product line gives beverage (beer, wine, soda, water) producers a rapid, simple pipeline to ensure the safety of their products. After the testing cartridge is loaded, the sample is incubated, and a picture of the test strip is taken using a mobile phone, which delivers results and provides analytics on how to eliminate the source of contamination. At a price point of $10/test, it is cost-effective at small scales, and has been validated at large scales through a partnership with a top-ten craft brewery in the United States. The product grants all food producers, including microbiologists, brewers, and family-owned production facilities, the freedom to focus fully on perfecting taste, and optimizing production.] As they accepted the over-sized Grand Prize check of $25,000 sponsored by COX Businesses it was plain to see these two young men have an opportunity to change the world.