TCO Innovation Competition

Suresh Subramaniam presenting his poster during the 2015 Innovation Competition
Suresh Subramaniam presents his poster at Annual Innovation Competition


The TCO 2022 Innovation Competition was held on Wednesday, April 6th, at the GW Science and Engineering Hall, and was attended by GW researchers, early stage investors, entrepreneurs, and sources of technical, legal and financial support for startups. 

Inventors pitched their unlicensed patent-pending GW technologies. Finalists gave 10 minute oral presentations and other inventors participated with poster presentations.

Keynote speaker, Benjamin Holmes, CEO of Nanochon, shared his journey from GW graduate student and inventor to leader of an investor-backed startup.

–Winners of $10,000 Finalist prizes

3D Bioprinted Anisotropic Cardiac Patch for the treatment of myocardial infarction (MI). Lijie Zhang, Haitao Cui, Timothy Esworthy*

Pipe Dream: Low-cost Renewable Jet Fuel. Adelina Voutchkova-Kostal*, Diana Ainembabazi, Darren Dolan, Jonathan Horlyck

–Winners of $5,000 Finalist prizes

Plasma Discharge Tube (PDT) for Brain Tumor Treatment. Michael Keidar*, Li Lin, Jonathan Sherman, Vikas Soni, Dayun Yan, Xiaoliang Yao

A Hardware-based Cyber Deception Framework Against Malware. Guru Venkataramani, Preet Derasari*, Kailash Gogineni*

Audience's choice posters - $5,000 prizes

CytoCapture of Immune Cells to Detect Internal Infections. Richard Wargowsky*, Faisal Al Munajjed*, Timothy McCaffrey (accepted award but declined prize money). Prize went to runner-up: Apoptosis resistant stem cell therapy in diabetic kidney disease. Sabyasachi Sen*

AI-Driven Real-time Nerve Detection and Visualization for Surgical Precision. Chung Hyuk Park*, Baijun Xie*, Gary Milam Jr.


Finalists Pitched their Technologies

for a chance to

Win $30,000 in prizes

The Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) showcased promising and impactful GW research with commercial potential at the April 16, 2019 Innovation Competition held in WDC. This event provided a forum for idea sharing between GW researchers, entrepreneurs, and members of the venture community, as well as the opportunity to present technologies to a panel of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and industry professionals. 

First Place Life Science Winners – Mona Zaghloul, Yangyan Zhao, Libin Sun, Stephen Semancik, and Kurt Benkstein presented the Ultra-Small Portable Nano Hole Array based Gas/Condensed Phase Sensing System for Hazard Warning and Health Monitoring.

Second Place Life Science Winners – William Weglicki and lu Tong Mak presented Aprepitant (Emend) Prevents Cutaneous Inflammation and Cardiac Dysfunction Due to Erlotinib (Tarceva).

First Place Physical Science Winner – Matthew Lumb presented Switching-free DC voltage conversion.

Second Place Physical Science Winners – Tarek El-Ghazawi, Engin Kayraklioglu, Volker Sorger, and Shuai Sun presented The Reconfigurable Optical Computer.


A judging panel of distinguished entrepreneurs, technologists, and investors reviews each presenting poster and narrows the submissions down to the finalists. During the poster judging, the attendees have an opportunity to listen to a brief seminar. In 2017 guest speaker James G. Clessuras, J.D, Partner of Intellectual Property Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati discussed various funding sources available to researchers and startups.

Our past seminars have featured: Nancy Vorona, Vice President for Research Investment and Sean Mallon, Senior Investment Director from the Center for Innovative Technology Richard Bendis of BioHealth Innovation, Dr. Ruth Shuman, Ph.D, Program Director for the Small Business Innovation Research Program, National Science Foundation and Jim Chung, Executive Director, GW Office of Entrepreneurship. The speakers focus on various hot topics for the research commercialization community nationwide. The session is followed by a round of presentations by competition finalists, which culminate in judges allocating prize money that supports GW technology development.


$10,000 Award - Aleksandra Kilmas and Emilia Entcheva- OptoDyCE: An All-optical-High Throughput Platform for Personalized Medicine and Drug Screening

$10,000 Award - Dr. Michael Wagner, Nathan Banek & Kevin Hays - Hollow Graphene Nanoshells From Biomass: Eco-friendly Disruption of the Lithium Ion Battery Market

$5,000 Award -  Alejandro Villagra,Shen Sida, and Alan Kozikowski- Enhancing Immunotherapy Through Selective Inhibition of Histone Deacetylase 6

$5,000 Award - Tarek El- Ghazawi, Shuai Sun, Vikram Narayana, Volker Sorger- Hybrid Photonoic -Plasmonic Interconnect (HyPPI): Tracing Moore's Law in a CLEAR Way


$10,000 Award - Dr. Timothy McCaffrey - RNA Biomarkers for the Diagnosis of Internal Infections: InfectDx

$10,000 Award - Dr. Michael Wagner, Nathan Banek & Kevin Hays - Hollow Graphene Nanoshells From Biomass: Eco-friendly Disruption of the Lithium Ion Battery Market

$5,000 Award - Dr. Mohamed Mohamed & Dr. Hany Ali - Improved CPAP Device for Neonatal Use

$5,000 Award - Dr. Elias Balaras & Dr. Nikolaos Beratlis - Next Generation Golf Ball Design


$10,000 Award - Dr. Marco Mercader - Selective Neurostimulation of the Heart

$10,000 Award - Dr. Maryam Yammahi - A Method for Approximate Search in Very Large Data Files Using Pigeonhole Principle

Runners Up were Dr. Zhenyu Li for his Handheld Medical Diagnostic System and Dr. Hasan Goktas for his Novel Resonator Cell for Portable Biosensor.


$10,000 Award - Dr. Stephen Hsu - Novel Surface Technology to Control Friction

Runners Up were Dr. Volker Sorger with his Electro-Optic Modulator and Drs. Adam Corman and Neal Sikka with Sonostik: Ultrasound Assisted Catheter Placement technology.


$10,000 Award - Dr. Nan Zhang - DeepWebWatch, formerly known as WiseAgg. DeepWebWatch is "the Google for analytics - i.e. for people who want not only individual webpages but also a birds-eye view of the entire deep web sphere."