A startup focused on new x-ray technology and a non-profit organization seeking medical supplies and recycled equipment for developing countries took home the first-place prizes of $15,000 each in the fifth annual on March 28.

UNC-Chapel Hill puts on the event as part of the

NextRay took first in the commercial track competition. The startup is developing technology that it says delivers sharper images than traditional x-ray machines yet with one one-hundredth of the radiation. The company was formed by UNC-CH breast cancer researcher Etta Pisano, Kenan-Flagler MBA student John Lerch and Larry Robbins, a lawyer focused on entrepreneurial startups.

Med Plus, the winner in the social track, is working to transfer surplus medical supplies and equipment to developing countries from the U.S. UNC students Emma Lawrence, Emily Nix and Lauren Silve formed the venture.

Nine of 16 teams in the finals divided $50,000 in prize money.

“Someone here could be the founder of the next SAS Institute, a world-renowned software company in Cary that employees over 4,000 North Carolinians,” said Brad Blaser, a senior economics major and chief executive officer of the all-student Carolina Challenge management team. “If this competition can help kickstart just one venture that becomes half as propitious as a company like SAS, then the Carolina Challenge has been a success.”

Second place awards worth $7,500 each went to Clinical Sensors and Med Count.

Clinical Sensors features a device designed to measure sepsis ( a systemic reaction to an infection) in hospital patients. UNC analytical chemist Mark Schoenfisch and MBA students Kate Kitsopoulous and John Lerch launched the company.

Med Count is a device for the diagnosis of tuberculosis. Leading the company are second-year medical student and Ph.D. candidate Naman Shah of UNC-CH along with N.C. State University seniors Pavah Shah and Daniel Jeck, who are biomedical engineering majors, and Hersh Tapadia, an electrical engineering major.

The first-place winners also will receive legal services valued up to $2,500 from Hutchison Law Group.