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Local Tech Wire

DURHAM, N.C. – Judges will hear pitches from the seven finalists in the 10th annual on Thursday night on the Duke campus.

The winner of the $25,000 first place prize will be disclosed on April 16.

More than 100 teams entered the competition.

Thursday night’s “Investor Pitch Finals,” which starts at 6 p.m. in Fuqua’s HCA Auditorium, will be judged by:

• Jack Egan, founding managing partner of Egan-Managed Capital, a Boston based venture capital fund.
• Karen LeVert, president and CEO of Southeast TechInventures, a technology accelerator.
• Greg Mario, CEO of Taxis Pharmaceuticals, which targets highly resistant forms of bacterial pathogens.
• Michael Olander, owner of Apple Gold Group, which owns and operates a total of 80 restaurants.

Aaron Patzer, a 2002 Duke graduate who recently sold his start-up,, for $170 million, headlines the program for the 16th. The wrap-up event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Fuqua Business School Fox Center and Geneen Auditorium.

The seven finalists and the runners-up in each category will make one-minute “elevator” pitches, and attendees will chose an audience favorite.

The finalists, with information provided by Duke Start-Up Challenge:

Energy & Environment Track

Green Wave Sciences – Green Wave Sciences seeks to develop solutions to crop pest problems through the use of electromagnetic radiation.

Runner Up: Ecoviator – Ecoviator provides online users the opportunity to search for, compare, and book Ecotoursim adventures.

Healthcare & Life Sciences Track

Finalist: Rhexis Biomedical – Rhexis Biomedical has developed a disposable surgical instrument that improves the accuracy and reproducibility of cataract surgery, the most commonly performed outpatient surgery in the US.

Runner Up: Eye Innovations – Medical device to treat Glaucoma Patients.

IT and Media Track

Finalist: curvit – curvit fills the gap between online resumes and manually typed and formatted resumes by allowing the user to focus on the content, while curvit manages both online and hardcopy formatting.

Runner Up: YourStory – YourStory is the key for preserving and sharing family oral histories.

Products and Services Track:

Finalist: Micropower – Imagine running a laptop for 24 hours without plugging into a wall. Micropower is developing an ethanol fueled microengine to increase portability for consumer electronics and government robots.

Runner Up: Colucci DANZA – Colucci DANZA will revolutionize the ballet pointe shoe market by offering shoes with superior value, safety, comfort Contact:

Social Enterprise Track

Finalist: The Progress and Purity Project – The Progress & Purity Project aims to improve quality of life in northern Afghanistan by empowering women to start businesses, help fellow Afghans through microfinance and handicraft fair trade, and decrease disease through chlorine purification.

Runner Up: CertiRx – CertiRx Corporation, an AuthentiForm Technologies, LLC company, (CertiRx) develops products that reduce the growing global risk of injury or death from counterfeit drugs by which the people of developing nations are affected disproportionately.

Undergraduate-led Startups Track

Finalist: Wasabi – Restaurant quality Sushi. Casual dining prices. Wasabi will do for Sushi what Subway did for the sandwich.

Runner Up: Preservabowl – PreservaBowl: Keeping food fresher, longer.

Women-led Startups Track

Finalist: Colucci DANZA – Colucci DANZA will revolutionize the ballet pointe shoe market by offering shoes with superior value, safety, comfort.

Runner Up: Kosh – Universalizing access to Education content – Kosh is an online knowledge repository that will aggregate and create engaging educational content in all formats. This virtual library will make educational media accessible at a nominal price and in regional Indian languages, to rura India.