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Artificial corneas: Team from Cambridge wins Jacobs University’s Startup Competition

The winners: Maria Teresa Perez Zaballos and Daniel Morales Valdivia from "My Cornea" : Photo: Jacobs University / Dragi Kamov


March 13, 2018

It is not unusual for millions of people throughout the world to wait one to two years for a cornea transplant. The “MyCornea” start-up wants to reduce this waiting period to six weeks. The University of Cambridge students behind the startup developed a process for manufacturing artificial corneas. The transplants are customized to the specific eye. This concept also convinced the jury of Jacobs University’s Startup Competition. MyCornea was able to take the winner’s check for 3,000 euros back home to England.

138 teams of student entrepreneurs from Europe and North America applied to enter Jacobs University’s Startup Competition in the past few months. The competition was planned and organized by around 30 students from the international Jacobs University. The eleven best teams presented their concepts at a two-day event held on the campus in Bremen.

Second place, garnering 1,000 euros, went to StudySmarter. The team from Munich developed an innovative learning platform for students. The incentive for learning is greater when playful and social methods are used. The third place, with a prize of 500 euros, was won by SocialBnB, an online platform that brings travelers in south-east Asia together with non-governmental organisations, NGOs, that offer unused rooms for rental.

Criteria for choosing the winner were the growth potential of the startup as well as the feasibility and implementation of the idea. Entrepreneurs can apply to enter their business ideas in the Jacobs Startup Competition 2019 from autumn. In the first phase of the competition spanning several months, participants develop ideas for products and services. They receive support from mentors as well as work and background materials and have access to a network of successful companies, professors and consultants. In the final round, the best teams then have the opportunity of pitching their ideas to a jury.

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Moderator Alex Smith, Annika Richter and Lara König, main organizers of the competition, and the winners Maria Teresa Perez Zaballos and Daniel Morales Valdivia. Photo: Jacobs University / Dragi Kamov