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Vanessa Mahan, a senior in biological sciences at Missouri S&T from Kansas City, Missouri, earned second place in a virtual “shark tank” style competition through the University of Missouri System’s Entrepreneur Quest (EQ) program. The top three teams from each UM System campus competed against each other by pitching their ideas via remote video conferencing to panels of experts April 15-16.
For making it to the last round of competition, Mahan will receive an award and will also receive a business model and plan educational program; mentorship from executives, leaders, investors and subject matter experts; and opportunities to participate in pitch and demo competitions.
Mahan’s project, titled “Bionic Bowel,” combines biology studies with ceramic engineering ideas. The project uses bioactive glass as a way to potentially change the pH level in the body of a Crohn’s disease sufferer. By including the biomaterial in an oral medicine that dissolves and prevents scar tissue, Mahan realized that she could implant the glass in the human body via a pill to repair the damaged area.