The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 21, 2004

Engineering Announces Storer Entrepreneurial Award Winners

The University of Iowa College of Engineering has announced that two student-run businesses -- Bio::Neos, Inc. and Ergo Ingenieur, both based at the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City -- are the winners of 2004 Hubert E. Storer Engineering Student Entrepreneurial Start-up Awards.

The annual awards, established in 2002 and funded by an endowed gift from College of Engineering alumnus Hubert E. Storer, provide $2,500 of initial financial support for two College of Engineering student technological business plans.

Bio::Neos, Inc. is a provider of bioinformatics software solutions and tools for biomedical research. The company's primary product, Bio::WebLab, aids researchers seeking to create a list of genes likely to be involved with particular genetic diseases and is expected to be ready in early 2005. The company plans to take advantage of its close relationship with researchers in the UI College of Engineering's Coordinated Laboratory for Computational Genomics (CLCG), which invented an algorithm for use in analyzing genes. The company holds a license to use the algorithm in creating distinct software and plans to become a leading supplier of quality biotechnology and genetics software. The company potentially could shorten the time required for the development of pharmaceuticals and genetic treatments.

The company's owners and managers include Steve Davis of Thiensville, Wis., president and head programmer and a UI research assistant, who earned a master's degree in electrical and computer engineering in 2003. He and his partners, electrical and computer engineering graduate students and senior programmers Brian O'Leary of Des Moines and Mike Smith of Saint Joseph, Mich., won a John Pappajohn New Venture Business Plan competition in December 2003.

Ergo Ingenieur is a business focused on designing a product aimed at improving the accuracy of eye exams and patient comfort. The privately held company's five biomedical engineering students have contacted lawyers to secure a patent for a modification to a slit scope -- a type of equipment used in eye examinations -- and its mounting system. The company plans to market its product in April 2005.

The firm's owners and managers are: junior Bradley Bartels of Caledonia, Ill.; senior Justin Glasgow of Morehead City, N.C.; senior Samuel Hartman of Sumner, Iowa; senior Samantha Lane of Johnsburg, Ill.; and senior Jonathan Thompson of Omaha, Neb.

The Storer Awards are named for Hubert E. Storer, president, owner and founder of Storer Equipment Company of Shreveport, La., who earned his bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from the UI College of Engineering in 1959.

The awards complement the UI Technological Entrepreneurship Certificate, earned in conjunction with an engineering degree and established in 1996 by the College of Engineering and the Henry B. Tippie College of Business. The first of its kind at any U.S. engineering college, the nationally recognized program enables students to study the entrepreneurial process as it relates to technology.

The Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory on the UI campus is an extension of one of the five John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers in Iowa and the only one that provides free office space for students, coupled with close guidance from business faculty members and proven entrepreneurs. Tom Bedell, chairman of fishing tackle company Pure Fishing in Spirit Lake, has pledged $660,000 to the center, a 10,000 square-foot facility that provides an added boost to students participating in the UI campus-wide entrepreneurship program.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009, gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu.