News at Medicine - April 2019 - Award winning start-up got its start in medicine


Award winning start-up got its start in medicine
April 3, 2019
Three learners from the Faculty of Medicine are on cloud nine this week.
 

Dr. Stephen Ryan (MD ’18), Michael Bartellas (class of 2019) and Travis Pickett (class of 2020) won top prize of $10,000 at Mel Woodward Cup on March 28 for their start-up company, PolyUnity Tech. It’s the first time students from the Faculty of Medicine have won this prestigious prize.
 
They were one of three teams chosen for the top prize.
 
The founders of PolyUnity Tech began their journey as co-founders of MUN Med 3D - Newfoundland and Labrador's, first biomedical 3D printing facility, created for students, physicians and researchers to explore the world of 3D printing and how it can be applied in health care. 
 
PolyUnity is focused on the creation and distribution of high quality, validated 3D printed medical simulations. Speaking on behalf of the group, Pickett says creating PolyUnity came naturally out of the work they were already doing.
 
“For many years now we have been involved in the applications of 3D printing technology within medicine through MUN Med 3D and the Med 3D Network,” Pickett says. “PolyUnity is our path to keep that journey alive as we move into the next phase of our professional lives. With this award, we have secured that path, allowing us to maintain our ambitions. Additionally, and just as importantly, we have been acknowledged on a professional level as a business for the first time. The weight that this holds for us as we move forward cannot be understated! An added benefit is that it allows us to keep the 3D printing ecosystem created through MUN Med 3D/Med 3D Network alive with new energy.”
 
“With the money provided to us through the Mel Woodward Cup we will be hiring a software engineer who will be developing the functional prototype for our web application,” he adds. “We will continue to develop the scope and strategy of our business, and hopefully have an official product to launch before the end of 2019.”
 
The Mel Woodward Cup is an exciting business idea competition organized by the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship (MCE) and generously supported by members of the business community.
 
The primary objective of this competition is to invest in Memorial University students with an innovative business idea. The secondary objective is to foster increased interest in entrepreneurship and to connect entrepreneurial students with the entrepreneurial community in Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond. Applications are judged on motivation/drive, coachability, diversity of skills and availability to pursue the idea. MCE is a campus-wide Centre of Memorial University in St. John’s, NL that provides inspiration, guidance, resources, and an entrepreneurial community to undergraduate and graduate students at Memorial University.