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CALS researcher wins Governor’s Business Plan Contest

Katie Brenner
Katie Brenner

Katie Brenner, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, won the 2015 Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest in Madison Wednesday.

Brenner was chosen from an initial pool of 238 entries for her app-based device that monitors female fertility. The BluDiagnostics Fertility Finder analyzes hormones found in saliva and displays results through the app.

Brenner is a scientist in the lab of Doug Weibel, a professor of biochemistry. Last fall, she was one of five scientists chosen for the prestigious Women in Science Fellowship from L’Oreal USA and the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her work developing a test for early diagnosis of infection in premature infants.

On Monday and Tuesday, Brenner joined 13 finalists – including several others with UW-Madison ties – in presenting business plans to a panel of judges and conference attendees at the Alliant Energy Center.

The other finalists with ties to the university include:

•Chorom Pak, Lynx Biosciences. Pak is a research associate in hematology-oncology with the School of Medicine and Public Health.

•Leyuan Shi, LS Optimal, Shi is a professor of industrial engineering.

•Menachem Tabanpour, Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling. Tabanpour is a research specialist in the Soil Science Department.

•Adam Uselmann, OnLume. Uselmann is a research associate in medical engineering at the Morgridge Institute for Research.

•Cheryl Vickroy, AmebaGone. Vickroy teaches technology commercialization in the master of science in biotechnology program.

•Patrick Walker, KIINCE. This company’s technology was developed by Kinesiology Professor Kreg Gruben and it receives funding from the university’s Discovery to Product (D2P) initiative.