Testimonials for CAI


Balak Drishti“Among all of us, we have a tremendous opportunity and obligation to foster innovations all over the world through new thinking, new methods, and new ideas that benefit the society by solving fundamental problems that plague us. But, to put the innovation in motion, you either need a neutron to start the chain reaction or a catalyst to commence the chemical reaction. CAI does both vociferously. CAI provides the rigorous methods, tools, processes, webinars, mentors and above all, the discipline to bring the innovations to reality.” – Sandhiprakash (Sandhi) Bhide, CEO of Balak Drishti and Cofounder/BOD/Investor of FleetNurse Inc.



Artériel“When we were invited to participate in the SCALE Challenge by CAI we had no clue how radically it would change our lives and company focus. The expert guidance, substantive webinars, and accountability milestones provided us with a roadmap for Artériel to take our emerging technologies and museum visitor engagement & revenue generation tools to market. As we prepare for our September Investor Forum we also benefit from learning through the other amazing people and their winning companies in the Challenge. Thank you, Rosemarie and Cody!”Kirsten Soderlind, Founder & CEO, Artériel


Family Proud“The SCALE Challenge has been a tremendous opportunity for Family Proud to not only grow as a company but connect with fellow entrepreneurs from around the world. The mentors, guidance and programming have been momentous to our company’s growth.”Jaden Risner, Co-Founder & CEO, Family Proud


Greenhill AntiBallistics“Being in CAI’s SCALE Challenge was truly a breakthrough event in Greenhill AntiBallistics’ growth. The amount of education and information received, the assignments and the training, are invaluable. The mentors CAI found for us during the process were top notch. It was like a mini-MBA condensed into months. Yes, it is intense! What you put into this entire challenge and what you receive is an experience and an understanding that you own. Zach and I highly recommend participating in one or more CAI challenges. A program like CAI’s cannot succeed without innovative, committed and “hands on” leadership, and Rosemarie’s leadership and Cody’s operational prowess, hard work and their contagious enthusiasm are all that and more. Simply put: Rosemarie and Cody have perfected the process to launch a startup and help it succeed. And in the world of startups, where there are exhilarating peaks and deep valleys, you need to surround yourself with people who will always support and help you and be your cheerleader, to be there for you at those peaks and in those valleys. Excelsior!”Judy Lee Greenhill, Co-Founder & CEO/COO, and Zachary Greenhill, Inventor, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Strategist, Greenhill Antiballistics


RoadSpoke“Simply said, The SCALE Challenge powered by CAI and the Walton Family Foundation was the best thing to happen to my company. Full Stop. Period. Cody Locke and Rosemarie Truman ROCK!”Angus Beavers, Founder & CEO, RoadSpoke


Swae“We feel really fortunate to have benefitted from the Scale Challenge and the high-quality programming and stewardship provided by Rosemarie Truman and Cody Locke from the CAI. Though Swae’s technology was not created to disrupt supply chains, the impact that our solutions can have on larger organizational decision making are transformative and we thank the CAI team for seeing this potential and including us in this process. The possibility of bringing Swae’s solutions to an organization like Walmart can have unknown positive impacts and can be remarkable use cases for us and them. Without CAI and Scale, such realities would not exist and startups like us would certainly not get these kinds of transformative opportunities.”Soushiant Zanganehpour, Founder & CEO, Swae



ARJUNA Therapeutics“This was a great experience for me and my company!”Ross Breckenridge, PhD, CEO, ARJUNA Therapeutics


CellaSphere Therapeutics“By presenting tailored webinars, connecting us with leading industry experts, and helping us to prepare and refine our business pitch, CAI maximized our company’s chance of success. Thanks to CAI, our company has the potential to improve the quality of life for those suffering from glioblastoma.”Elliot Horlick, Co-founder, CellaSphere Therapeutics


Jaunums Therapeutics“The entrepreneurial opportunities with CAI are a game changer in biotech innovation. CAI’s leadership team provides a wealth of resources across an integrative landscape, and continuously supports personal and professional growth.”Krystle Karoscik, Co-founder, Jaunums Pharmaceuticals



Light Switch Bio“Coming from an academic background, we were unsure how to even begin the process of commercializing our inventions before we met Rosemarie Truman and entered the Virginia Beach Bio Innovation Challenge. Through CAI’s virtual curriculum and generous network of expert mentors (especially Cody Locke!), we grew our team, developed a strong commercialization plan for our inventions and formed crucial connections with stakeholders to guide and validate our business endeavors. Thanks to CAI, our company has the potential to minimize the adverse effects and related costs of therapy for numerous patients with our photoactivated chemotherapy platforms. I’m also personally grateful for the opportunity that CAI’s challenge presented me to contribute to my hometown’s burgeoning entrepreneurial community and biotech industry as part of Virginia Beach’s long-term economic development plans, thereby allowing me to return home to live near family and give back to the community that helped raise me. I believe that as the world becomes increasingly remote yet interconnected, innovative programs like CAI’s are going to become increasingly relevant for aspiring entrepreneurs.”Alex Ratti, Founder and CEO, Light Switch Bio



ARIZ Precision Medicine“We assembled a multidisciplinary team of seasoned and first-time entrepreneurs to commercialize technologies made available through the Freedom from Cancer Startup Challenge. The CAI challenge-accelerator program provides a platform to educate scientific entrepreneurs about corporate development and also expands scientific capabilities at the same time. The world needs this innovative program to advance potential cures for cancer.”Lonnie Bookbinder, Founder, CEO, Chairman, ARIZ Precision Medicine



Sixfold Bioscience (formerly RNAissance)“We are very appreciative of the many people, and especially the members of the Center for Advancing Innovation, who guided us along the way and helped us to avoid common pitfalls. We particularly enjoy the plethora of webinars on all aspects of business development, which have turned the competition into a highly immersive experience. The opportunities to directly reach out to the speakers and discuss our individual concerns greatly accelerated our efforts. Likewise, having been able to engage with stakeholders such as clinicians, pharma representatives, and policy makers provided us with invaluable insights into desirable features of novel therapeutics. It is very encouraging to see the depth of interest we can spark with our business endeavor.”


Carillon Biopharma“The structure has ultimately been great in keeping us focused and in high learning mode! Rosemarie Truman and her CAI team have been very supportive and responsive. The weekly tutorials sessions they have organized have been invaluable, providing pearls of insights.”


Eradican“The Nanotechnology Startup Challenge in Cancer leadership team has been incredibly supportive throughout the competition and has consistently guided us through various obstacles…The Nanotechnology Startup Challenge in Cancer has been a very positive learning experience, especially for a cross-functional team to learn from one another and industry professionals.”


George Washington University“It is a real pleasure to work with talents from a variety of disciplines in this nano technology startup challenge. The gap between a lab and commercialization for any scientific invention is notoriously difficult to bridge. We are grateful for CAI’s well-designed virtual incubator and patient communication (especially Rosemarie and Jonathan) to guide us along the steep learning curve. Our team is dedicated to deliver affordable and customized in-house diagnostic solutions to the aging population. Working and studying from different fields, we would never have the chance to integrate our individual expertise into one team without the wonderful opportunity CAI had provided. I would encourage any aspiring student entrepreneurs to participate in these challenges and learn by doing.”


Latona Therapeutics“Interactions with Latona’s clinical and industry advisors have built upon the training provided by The Center for Advancing Innovation and expanded Latona’s understanding of the cancer treatment industry.”


Precision Nanotech“Each of us is so happy to have the opportunity to participate in this challenge: to take a potentially groundbreaking technology invented by the NIH and make it available to millions of patients in need, to work with industry leaders, and to conceptualize and build a company from the ground up. The Center for Advancing Innovation has done an exceptional job at providing quality education and assistance for the teams, and we’ve learned so much already.”



EnerDroneS“During this process of participating in the Space Race challenge, we have learned a lot from all our peers and amazing mentors with all of their incredible ideas, knowledge and experience, that they kindly have shared with us. We have received positive feedback and validation that our technology could be used in warehouses, houses, offices, extensive land properties, and even maritime services.”


Gaia-E“This challenge served as a wonderful platform for us to build such an amazing team. Without the Space Race, our group of like minded individuals with the same goals of combating climate change would have never had a chance to collaborate in this way. This allowed us to put our academic and industry skills to real use, and more importantly allowed us to learn even more from one another.”


Petra Power“Some of the highlights from participating in the CAI/NASA competition, that were most memorable, were the webinars. The webinars aided and educated all participants in developing their entrepreneurial skills on a variety of topics. The webinars ranged from engineering Q&As to marketing analysis and business planning, which are presented live (for maximum participation) and recorded to allow for review later. The other key features of the competition for me was learning how to develop and construct a business plan.



I speak on behalf of my team, when I say we are thankful for the opportunity that NASA and CAI has bestowed upon us. Given the opportunity to put our skills to work and test our mettle on the open market. We will continue to endeavor for bringing affordable SOFCs to various open markets, and becoming a major player in renewable energy production.”


Genetoo“Genetoo was privileged to participate in the NASA-CAI challenge. The CAI-NASA sponsored challenge is an avenue to innovation; it serves as an opportunity to improve business strategy, network with brilliant people, and start a company. As our team progressed to the semi-finals of this challenge, each member was utilized to overcome various trials to reach a new level of success.”


Jakuta“Little had I considered how that same research might enable us to look back toward Earth and apply those technologies to enhance our life here in ways unintended. The Center for Advancing Innovation’s Space Race inspired a few of us to do just that. The intricacies of commercializing any NASA technology are many and complex. However challenging navigating this ecosystem was, the Center for Advancing Innovation made it significantly easier by hosting industry leaders to lend their expertise in a broad range of fields.”


Maverick Drones“Regardless of the final outcome of which team wins the challenge, our team has benefited from process by gaining a new perspective on all the non-technical considerations that need to be addressed when starting a business.”


Minus Tau“Participating in the SPACE RACE challenge was a great experience. We got to learn a lot about business and how to work with a team, create a startup, and create a product.”


Native Coatings“Participating in the SPACE RACE challenge was a lot of hard work but has been rewarding. We’ve learned a lot about starting a business and about creating the relationships that are necessary to make a business work.”


RA Tech“Participating in the Space Race has been an intriguing opportunity. The seminars and teaching materials provided by the Space Race organizers have been incredibly helpful. For the members of our core team who have not been previously exposed to the business world (coming mostly from engineering/academic background) the contest has been a great learning experience.”


Tellus Acoustics“The challenge prepares participants for the fast pace of entrepreneurial work. The CAI provides participants with substantial resources that are critical to doing well in the challenge. The webinars are invaluable tool to give you the knowledge and capability to run your own startup company. The knowledge the speakers have to share is of the highest quality. The challenge challenges your will to succeed and ability to build a startup business.”


SPACE RACE Judge“Space exploration has resulted in hundreds of everyday products that trace back to NASA innovations. Now that free market competition is driving space investments, these innovations are happening at a frenzied pace. If the past is prologue, the winning ideas presented here in the SPACE RACE startup challenge will become the inventions that change our lives.”Steve L. Howard, County Administrator & Project Leader, Spaceport Camden


SPACE RACE Judge & Mentor“It was a pleasure to help startups in robotics and aerospace industry to find the best way of commercialization of NASA’s Intellectual Properties. It was great to see innovative entrepreneurs from around the world who build companies around NASA’s inventions which will improve our lives in the future.”Vit Goncharuk, CEO and Founder, Augmented Pixels



NeuroCognetix“With the state-of-the art motion correction technology provided by the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the extensive guidance and mentorship provided by the Center for Advancing Innovation, the NeuroCognetix team has accomplished more in the past nine months than would have ever thought possible.



Participating in the Neuro-Startup Challenge these past few months has broadened the horizons of each team member of NeuroCognetix, and inspired new goals and desires for commercializing new technologies through successful startup businesses. The Challenge provided an interesting learning experience and a compelling opportunity to interact with accomplished business leaders. We had to convince highly trained professionals that the underlying technology and the proposed product was a game-changer with significant business-impact, worthy of their consideration. As students, we are used to learning new things, and were eager from the beginning to tackle a new challenge to improve healthcare. At the heart of the team is a strong desire to improve the way the world uses technology for improved patient care, lower overall costs, and equal access to quality care. The NIH Neuro-Startup Challenge has given us the opportunity to do so.”


EncepHeal Therapeutics“The Neuro Startup Challenge originally offered us an avenue to learn of Biotechnology and Small Businesses through a hands on experience. We were able to apply our different backgrounds to start a business. However, by the end, the challenge offered us something so much more. With their mentoring and relationships, the Neuro Startup Challenge gives EncepHeal Therapeutics the opportunity to help over 22 million people affected by substance abuse, many of which, do not have options when it comes to FDA treatments. Rosemarie Truman and the rest of the Neuro Startup team have given us access to tap into new innovative treatments for substance abuse. We hope to add to their good name by changing the face of addiction for years to come.”Aaron Lazarus, CEO, EncepHeal Therapeutics



Oncolinx“The Breast Cancer Startup Challenge (BCSC) has truly been the greatest experience of my academic and professional career. I have been successful in many academic competitions in the past, however the BCSC has set up teams for success unlike any other competition. This first-of-its-kind competition stems from the brilliant mind Rosemarie Truman and her amazing team and colleagues at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In addition to identifying the most promising technologies at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and NCI Rosemarie has provided the services of herself and the entire Center for Advancing Innovation, to guarantee success.



Rosemarie’s vision and grit in this endeavor is truly unparalleled. She had the resources and the expertise to help any team get over any hurdle or obstacle. She made introductions, refined pitches, made important resources accessible, and recruited some of the most prominent industry partners to give each team every opportunity to succeed. It was amazing to see this kind of commitment because usually in any entrepreneurial endeavor is difficult to navigate and there can be a lot of uncertainty, but much of that was minimized with the help of Rosemarie and her team.



Going forward, we should all look forward to the foundation of many great startups from similar CAI and NIH Startup Challenges. These competitions explore all a previously untapped “treasure trove” of innovation to make an impact on human health. More than $32 Billion of taxpayer money goes to the world-class NIH laboratories every year, but if that research and innovation never reaches market, there is no opportunity to make a real impact on real lives. I hope that these Startup Challenges continue to grow and spin-out life-changing technologies that can make a meaningful impact on human health, and we at Oncolinx will do anything we can to see that through.” Sourav Sinha and the entire Oncolinx team


Immunovations“This experience has been life changing for all of us on the management team and extremely educational towards understanding what it takes to transform an idea into a potential product and a startup venture. We competed in the Breast Cancer Startup Challenge, participated in a business pitch competition, presented for potential partners, learned how to work with a diverse group of talented individuals, dove into intellectual property, licensing and regulatory considerations and even opened up discussions of a merger with a potential competitor, just to name a few things. None of these things would have been possible without your help and the Breast Cancer Startup Challenge. We can’t thank you enough for a great experience and professional development which will help us achieve our future goals and aspirations.”Dan Leventhal and Oliver Weisser, University of Chicago


Mesopharm Therapeutics“It is increasingly difficult for early stage startups to break into the competitive sphere of Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology industry. The Breast Cancer Startup Challenge organized by the Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI) has provided one-of-a-kind opportunity for young minds with passion to make an impact in the pharmaceutical field.



At Mesopharm, we are grateful to have Rosemarie Truman and her CAI team from day 1 of the Challenge. The CAI not only provides guidance and support but also organizes connection to experienced advisors, resources, and seed funders. In addition, the CAI is truly interested in growth of a young company, particularly in gaining experience in entrepreneurship. Mesopharm looks forward to the ongoing association with the CAI and our next exciting phases of growth in the coming months.”
Kayam Chak, PhD, Co-founder & COO, Mesopharm Therapeutics, Inc.


Pectogen Therapeutics“The Challenge provided an unique and incredible opportunity to get involved in developing a life-saving breast cancer technology, and we’re excited to have put together such a strong team that will work hard to bring a product with multiple medical indications to market for the benefit of breast cancer patients worldwide. We would like to thank everyone involved in the Challenge, especially CAI, the Avon Foundation, and Dr. Burg and her team at Clemson University. Finally, we want to extend a special thanks to Shafin Khan and his commercialization team at New Orleans BioInnovation Center for their continued support of our entrepreneurial efforts.”Frank Glaser, Pectogen Therapeutics


Taxor“Over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the U.S. alone, and this kit can have a major impact on determining a more personalized course of treatment for these patients. Our team is looking forward to building a startup to develop this technology and improve breast cancer treatment options for women around the world.”Brian Yu, Taxor


Baylor College of Medicine“Last year I had an incredible opportunity to be part of a startup challenge competition in partnership with the National Cancer Institute and funded by the Avon Foundation and The Center for Advancing Innovation. It was a competition based on promising breast cancer technologies selected from approximately 5000 patents.



Our team consisted of postdocs and lab technicians with various areas and years of experience; cellular signaling, animal surgery, cell arrest, molecular training and business plan writing. This was exactly the type of entrepreneurship experience I was looking for when I was a graduate student.



There were several teams from various institutions across the country, the teams ranged in size, age, training, experience and educational background. The competition provided a perfect arena for scientific interests to collaboratively and creatively commercialize a product that could effectively enhance or replace current screening, detection and/or prognostic technologies. Our team was excited to meet each week to discuss our strategy. Yes, there was a financial incentive for the winning team. There was a wealth of support throughout this competition that was facilitated by Rosemarie Truman, founder and CEO of The Center for Advancing Innovation.



We believe this challenge provided an invaluable experience that is unable to be replicated by any other possible course or business plan challenge.”B. Guillory, Baylor College of Medicine


Bespoke Therapeutics“As an individual, it is sometimes hard to believe that you can change the world, but through The Breast Cancer Start-Up Challenge, the Avon Foundation, The Center for Advancing Innovation and National Institutes of Health gave us the courage, tools, and the vision to believe we can. Now, we dream of developing a leading cancer therapeutic and making a difference in the lives of people across the globe.



We started as five students pursuing our individual paths, but through this competition we became a family. We are business people, lawyers, and scientists who believe that what we do matters. We have learned from each other and complement each other’s skillsets in many ways. We have truly enjoyed the experience of growing with our company.



The Center for Advancing Innovation has guided us through the steps of developing our company, our business plan, growth strategy and forming our network. CAI has supported us by introducing us to investors, navigating through business issues, and connecting us with advocates. The CAI team brings an expertise and dedication that is simply unparalleled.



We thank Rosemarie Truman, Youhong Wang, and Jonathan Lui for their service and support. We could not have done it without them.”The BESPOKE Team: Alison Arter, Andy Bowline, Gonzo Estupinan, John Hodnette, Kyle Murrah, & Janel Suburu


Heragen“I feel that the Breast Cancer Startup Challenge (BCSC) is one of the most well-organized start-up challenges conducted. Right from initial selection of participating teams until announcement of winners and subsequent start-up mentorship, at each step, Rosemarie and her team represent clarity of vision, structured planning and near perfect implementation.



The efforts that Rosemarie puts in to see winning teams succeed as start-ups deserve a special mention. At Heragen, we have been continuously working with Rosemarie in the last few months, fine-tuning our product strategy and business plan. In addition, her initiatives in enabling teams meet potential investors and advisors reflect her commitment.



We, at Heragen, are proud of our association with BCSC and thank them for their continued support.”Naveen Chandramohan, Co-founder & CEO, Heragen, Inc.

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