Duke University inaugurates a new spin on business plan competitions Saturday with the first CUREs finals.

CUREs stands for Competition for Underserved and Resource-Poor Economies, which is being put on in conjunction with the Duke Start-Up Challenge. The Duke business plan competition is one of the best known in the U.S. and features $70,000 in prize money.

However, the first CUREs event is offering even more -$50,000 to the first-place winner among three finalists as well as a year of incubation at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering.

The CUREs event is being touted as the world’s largest business plan competition in terms of value offered to the winner.

“This is a uniquely challenging competition requiring students to use their passion and creativity to develop sustainable businesses that impact developing-world countries,” said Robert Malkin, a professor in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke who founded the CUREs event.

CUREs was launched through Duke’s Engineering World Health, a non-profit organization that is focused on improving health care technology in underserved nations.

The three finalists are:

  • Endeavor Medical, which has developed a small, battery-powered electrocardiogram device that costs less than $25 to produce

  • Global ImmunoDiagnostics, which has developed a low-cost means of assessing the effects of anti-retroviral therapy on HIV?Aids patients

  • Photo Genesis, which has developed a means of treating neonatal jaundice
  • The seventh annual Duke Start-Up Challenge will hand out $70,000 in prizes in four categories: health and life sciences; high tech; non-intellectual property based or service based; and social ventures.

    The best business idea winner will receive $25,000.

    Finalists for the Start-Up Challenge are:

  • ADME, which is focused on development of high-performance servers based on proprietary chip technology

  • Applied Polymer, which has patented-protected technology for materials used in advanced microelectronic packaging

  • BookBuzz, a subscription-based book service that includes a proprietary electronic reader

  • Cardiovascular Resonances, which is developing a device for the early detection of cardiovascular disease

  • Cytex Therapeutics, which is developing a bio-artificial bone and cartilage composite material that will aid people in need of a joint replacement

  • Novelios, which is developing new means of treating glaucoma

  • Precision BioSciences, which is developing means of targeting and altering single DN sequences
  • Competition begins at 9 AM at the Fuqua School of Business.

    For more information, see: www.dukestartupchallenge.org